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EUGENE ARAM. 



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BY 

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TO SIB, WALTER SCOTT, Bart. 

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Sib, 

It has long been my ambition to add some humble tribute to the 
offerings laid upon the shrine of your genius. At each succeeding 
book that I have given to the world, I have paused to consider if 
it were worthy to be inscribed with your great name, and at each 
I have played the procrastinator, and hoped for that morrow of 
better desert which never came. But defluat amnis, the time runs on 
— and I am tired of waiting for the ford which the tides refuse. I 
seize, then, the present opportunity, not as the best, but as the 
only one I can be sure of commanding, to express that affectionate 
admiration with which you have inspired me in common with all 
your contemporaries, and which a French writer has not ungrace- 
fully termed " the happiest prerogative of genius." As a Poet, 
and as a Novelist, your fame has attained to that height in which 
praise has become superfluous ; but in the character of the writer 
there seems to me a yet higher claim to veneration than in that of 
the writings. The example your genius sets us, who can emulate ? 
— the example your moderation bequeaths to us, who shall forget ? 
That nature must indeed be gentle which has conciliated the envy 
that pursues intellectual greatness, and left without an enemy a 
man who has no living equal in renown. 

You have gone foi a while from the scenes you have immor- 
talized, to regain, we trust, the health which has been impaired by 
your noble labours, or by the manly struggles with adverse for- 
tunes, which have not found the frame as indomitable as the mind 

a 2 



IV DEDICATION. 

Take with you the prayers of all whom your genius, with playful 
art, has soothed in sickness — or has strengthened, with generous 
precepts, against the calamities of life.* 

" Navis quae tibi creditum 

Debes Virgilium 

Reddas incolumem ! "f 

You, I feel assured, will not deem it prosiumptuous in one, 
who, to -that bright and undying flame which now streams from 
the grey hills of Scotland, — the last halo with which you have 
crowned her literary glories, — has turned from his first childhood 
with a deep and unrelaxing devotion ; you, I feel assured, will not 
deem it presumptuous in him to inscribe an idle work with your 
illustrious name: — a work which, however worthless in itself, 
assumes something of value in his eyes when thus rendered a tri- 
bute of respect to you. 

The Author of " Eugene Aram." 
London, December 22nd, 1831. 



* Written at the time of Sir W. Scott's visit to Italy, after the great blow to his 
health and fortunes. 

t O ship, thou owcst to us Virgil — restore in safety him whom we intrusted to 
thee! 



PREFACE TO THE EDITION OF 1831. 



Since, dear Reader, I last addressed thee, in Patjl Clifford, 
nearly two years have elapsed, and somewhat more than four 
years since, in Pelham, our familiarity first began. The Tale 
which I now submit to thee differs equally from the last as 
from the first of those works ; for, of the two evils, perhaps it is 
even better to disappoint thee in a new style, than to weary thee 
with an old. With the facts on which the tale of Eugene Aram 
is founded, I have exercised the common and fair license of writers 
of fiction : it is chiefly the more homely parts of the real story that 
have been altered ; and for what I have added, and what omitted, 
I have the sanction of all established authorities, who have taken 
greater liberties with characters yet more recent, and far more 
protected by historical recollections. The book was, for the most 
part, written in the early part of the year, when the interest which 
the task created in the Author was undivided by other subjects of 
excitement, and he had leisure enough not only to be nescio quid 
meditans nugarum, but also to be totus in illis ! * 

I originally intended to adapt the story of Eugene Aram to the 
Stage. That design was abandoned when more than half com- 
pleted ; but I wished to impart to this Romance something of the 
nature of Tragedy, — something of the more transferable of its 
qualities. Enough of this : it is not the Author's wishes, but the 
Author's books that the world will judge him by. Perhaps, then 
(with this I conclude), in the dull monotony of public affairs, and 
in these long winter evenings when we gather round the fire, pre- 
pared for the gossip's tale, willing to indulge the fear, and to 
believe the legend, perhaps, dear Reader, thou mayest turn, not 
reluctantly, even to these pages, for at least a newer excitement 
than the Cholera, or for a momentary relief from the everlasting 
discussions on " the MU."f 

London, December 22, 1831. 



* Not orTy to be meditating I know not what of trifles, but also to be wholly 
jngaged on them. t The year of the Reform Bill. 



PREFACE TO THE EDITION OF 1840 



The strange history of Eugene Aram had excited my interest 
and wonder long before the present work was composed or con- 
ceived. It so happened, that during Aram's residence at Lynn, 
his reputation for learning had attracted the notice of my grand- 
father — a country gentleman living in the same county, and of 
more intelligence and accomplishments than, at that day, usually 
<v£aracterised his class. Aram frequently visited at Heydon (my 
grandfather's house), and gave lessons, probably in no very elevated 
branches of erudition, to the younger members of the family. This 
I chanced to hear when I was on a visit in Norfolk, some two years 
before this novel was published, and it tended to increase the 
interest with which I had previously speculated on the phenomena 
of a trial which, take it altogether, is perhaps the most remarkabla 
in the register of English crime. I endeavoured to collect suck 
anecdotes of Aram's life and manners as tradition and hearsay 
still kept afloat. These anecdotes were so far uniform that they 
all concurred in representing him as a person who, till the detec- 
tion of the crime for which he was sentenced, had appeared of the 
mildest character and the most unexceptionable morals. An in- 
variable gentleness and patience in his mode of tuition — qualities 
then very uncommon at schools — had made him so beloved by his 
pupils at Lynn, that, in after life, there was scarcely one of them 
who did not persist in the belief of his innocence. His personal 
and moral peculiarities, as described in these pages, are such as 
were related to me by persons who had heard him described by 
his contemporaries : the calm benign countenance — the delicate 
health — the thoughtful stoop — the noiseless step — the custom, not 
uncommon with scholars and absent men, of muttering to himself 
— a singular eloquence in conversation, when once roused from 



PREFACE TO TIIE EDITION OP 1840. *li 

silence — an active tenderness and charity to the poor, with whom 
he was always ready to share his own scanty means — an apparent 
disregard to money, except when employed in the purchase of 
books— an utter indifference to the ambition usually accompanying 
self-taught talent, whether to better the condition or to increase 
the repute ; — these, and other traits of the character portrayed in 
the novel, are, as far as I can rely on my information, faithful to 
the features of the original. 

That a man thus described — so benevolent that he would rob 
his own necessities to administer to those of another, so humane 
that he would turn aside from the worm in his path — should have 
been guilty Of the foulest of human crimes, viz. — murder for the 
sake of gain ; that a crime thus committed should have been so 
episodical and apart from the rest of his career, that, however it 
might rankle in his conscience, it should never have hardened his 
nature : that, through a life of some duration, none of the errors, 
none of the vices, which would seem essentially to belong to a 
character capable of a deed so black from motives apparently so 
sordid,* should have been discovered or suspected ; — all this pre- 
sents an anomaly in human conduct so rare and surprising, that it 
would be difficult to find any subject more adapted for that meta- 
physical speculation and analysis, in order to indulge which, 
Fiction, whether in the drama, or the higher class of romance, 
seeks its materials and grounds its lessons in the chronicles of 
passion and crime. 

The guilt of Eugene Aram is not that of a vulgar ruffian : it 
leads to views and considerations vitally and wholly distinct from 
those with which profligate knavery and brutal cruelty revolt 
and displease us in the literature of Newgate and the Hulks. His 
crime does, in fact, belong to those startling paradoxes which the 
poetry of all countries, and especially of our own, has always 
delighted to contemplate and examine. Whenever crime appears 
the aberration and monstrous product of a great intellect, or of a 
nature ordinarily virtuous, it becomes not only the subject for 
genius, which deals with passions, to describe ; but a problem for 
philosophy, which deals with actions, to investigate and solve : — 

* For I put wholly out of question, the excuse of jealousy, as unsupported by 
any evidence — never hinted at by Aram himself (at least on any sufficient autho- 
rity) — and at variance with the only fact which the trial establishes, viz., that the 
robbery was the crime planned, and the cause, whether accidental or otherwise, of 
the murder. 



VU1 PREFACE TO THE EDITION OF 1840. 

hence the Macbeths and Richards, the Iagos and Othellos. My regret, 
therefore, is not that I chose a subject unworthy of elevated fiction, 
but that such a subject did not occur to some one capable of treat- 
ing it as it deserves; and I never felt this more strongly than 
when the late Mr. Godwin (in conversing with me after the pub- 
lication of this romance) observed that " he had always thought the 
story of Eugene Aram peculiarly adapted for fiction, and that he had 
more than once entertained the notion of making it the foundation 
of a novel." I can well conceive what depth and power that 
gloomy record would have taken from the dark and inquiring 
genius of the author of " Caleb Williams." In fact, the crime and 
trial of Eugene Aram arrested the attention and engaged the con- 
jectures of many of the most eminent men of his own time. His 
guilt or innocence was the matter of strong contest ; and so keen 
and so enduring was the sensation created by an event thus com- 
pletely distinct from the ordinary annals of human crime, that 
even history turned aside from the sonorous narrative of the struggles 
of parties, and the feuds of kings, to commemorate the learning 
and the guilt of the humble schoolmaster of Lynn. Did I want 
any other answer to the animadversions of commonplace criticism, 
it might be suflicient to say that what the historian relates, the 
novelist has little right to disdain. 

Before entering on this romance, I examined with some care the 
probabilities of Aram's guilt ; for I need scarcely perhaps observe, 
that the legal evidence against him is extremely deficient — fur- 
nished almost entirely by one (Houseman) confessedly an accom- 
plice of the crime, and a partner in the booty ; and that, in the 
present day, a man tried upon evidence so scanty and suspicious, 
would unquestionably escape conviction. Nevertheless, I must 
frankly own that the moral evidence appeared to me more con- 
vincing than the legal; and, though not without some doubt, 
which, in common with many, I still entertain of the real facts of 
the murder,* I adopted that view which, at all events, was the 
best suited to the higher purposes of fiction. On the whole, I still 
think that if the crime were committed by Aram, the motive was 
not very far removed from one which led recently to a remarkable 
murder in Spain. A priest in that country, wholly absorbed in 
learned pursuits, and apparently of spotless life, confessed that 
being debarred by extreme poverty from prosecuting a study 

* See Preface to the Edition of 1851, p. xviii. 



PUEFACE TO THE EDITION OF 1840. ix 

which had become the sole passion of his existence, he had reasoned 
himself into the belief that it would be admissible to rob a very 
dissolute, worthless man, if he applied the money so obtained to 
the acquisition of a knowledge which he could not otherwise 
acquire, and which he held to be profitable to mankind; Unfor- 
tunately, the dissolute rich man was not willing to be robbed for 
so excellent a purpose : he was armed and he resisted — a struggle 
ensued, and the crime of homicide was added to that of robbery. 
The robbery was premeditated ; the murder was accidental. But 
he who would accept some similar interpretation of Aram's crime 
must, to comprehend fully the lessons which belong to so terrible a 
picture of frenzy and guilt, consider also the physical circumstances 
and condition of the criminal at the time : severe illness — intense 
labour of the brain — poverty bordering upon famine — the mind, 
preternaturally at work, devising schemes and excuses to arrive at 
the means for ends ardently desired. And all this duly considered, 
the reader may see the crime bodying itself out from the shades 
and chimeras of a horrible hallucination — the awful dream of a 
brief but delirious and convulsed disease. It is thus only that we 
can account for the contradiction of one deed at war with a whole 
life — blasting, indeed, for ever the happiness ; but making little 
revolution in the pursuits and disposition of the character. No 
one who has examined with care and thoughtfulness the aspects of 
life and nature, but must allow that, in the contemplation of such 
a spectacle, great and most moral truths must force themselves on 
the notice, and sink deep into the heart. The entanglements of 
human reasoning ; the influence of circumstance upon deeds ; the 
perversion that may be made, by one self-palter with the fiend, of 
elements the most glorious ; the secret effect of conscience in frus- 
trating all for which the crime was done — leaving genius without 
hope, knowledge without fruit — deadening benevolence into 
mechanism — tainting love itself with terror and suspicion ; such 
reflections — leading, with subtler minds, to many more vast and 
complicated theorems in the consideration of our nature, social and 
individual — arise out of the tragic moral which the story of Eugene 
Aram (were it but adequately treated) could not fail to convey. 

Brussels, August. 1840. 



PREFACE TO THE EDITION OF 1851 



If none of my prose works have been so attacked as Eugene 
Abam, none have so completely triumphed over attack. It is true 
that, whether from real or affected ignorance of the true morality 
of fiction, a few critics may still reiterate the old commonplace 
charges of " selecting heroes from Newgate," or " investing 
•nurderers with interest ; " but the firm hold which the work has 
astablished in the opinion of the general public, and the favour it 
has received in every country where English literature is known, 
suffice to prove that, whatever its faults, it belongs to that legiti- 
mate class of fiction which illustrates life and truth, and only deals 
with crime as the recognised agency of pity and terror, in the con- 
duct of tragic narrative. All that I would say farther on this 
score has been said in the general defence of my writings which I 
put forth two years ago ; and I ask the indulgence of the reader if 
I repeat myself : — 

" Here, unlike the milder guilt of Paul Clifford, the author was 
not to imply reform to society, nor open in this world atonement 
and pardon to the criminal. As it would have been wholly in vain 
to disguise, by mean tamperings with art and truth, the ordinary 
habits of life and attributes of character which all record and 
remembrance ascribed to Eugene Aram, as it would have defeated 
every end of the moral inculcated by his guilt, to portray in the 
caricature of the murderer of melodrame a man immersed in study, 
of whom it was noted that he turned aside from the worm in his 
path, so I have allowed to him whatever contrasts with his inex- 
piable crime have been recorded on sufficient authority. But I 
have invariably taken care that the crime itself should stand 
stripped of every sophistry, and hideous to the perpetrator as well 
as to the world. Allowing all by which attention to tis biography 



PREFACE TO THE EDITION OF 1851. xi 

may explain the tremendous paradox of fearful guilt in a man 
aspiring after knowledge, and not generally inhumane — allowing 
that the crime came upon him in the partial insanity produced by 
the combining circumstances of a brain overwrought by intense 
study, disturbed by an excited imagination, and the fumes of a 
momentary disease of the reasoning faculty, consumed by the desire 
of knowledge, unwholesome and morbid, because coveted as an end, 
not a means, added to the other physical causes of mental aberra- 
tion — to be found in loneliness, and want verging upon famine ; — 
all these, which a biographer may suppose to have conspired to his 
crime, have never been used by the novelist as excuses for its 
enormity, nor indeed, lest they should seem as excuses, have they 
ever been clearly presented to the view. The moral consisted in 
showing more than the mere legal punishment at the close. It was 
to show how the consciousness of the deed was to exclude whatever 
humanity of character preceded and belied it from all active exer- 
cise — all social confidence ; how the knowledge of the bar between 
the minds of others and his own deprived the criminal of all motive 
to ambition, and blighted knowledge of all fruit : miserable in his 
affections, barren in his intellect — clinging to solitude, yet accursed 
in it — dreading as a danger the fame he had once coveted— obscure 
in spite of learning, hopeless in spite of love, fruitless and joyless 
in his life, calamitous and shameful in his end ; — surely such is no 
palliative of crime, no dalliance and toying with the grimness of 
evil ! And surely, to any ordinary comprehension, any candid 
mind, such is the moral conveyed by the fiction of Eugene 
Aeam." * 

In point of composition Eugene Aeam is, I think, entitled to 
rank amongst the best of my fictions. It somewhat humiliates me 
to acknowledge, that neither practice nor study has enabled me to 
surpass a work written at a very early age, in the skilful con - 
struction and patient development of plot ; and though I have 
since sought to call forth higher and more subtle passions, I 
doubt if I have ever excited the two elementary passions of 
tragedy, viz. pity and terror, to the same degree. In mere style, 
too, Eugene Aeam, in spite of certain verbal oversights, and 
defects in youthful taste (some of which I have endeavoured to 
remove from the present edition), appears to me unexcelled by 
any of my later writings, at least in what I have always studied 

* " A Word to the Public," 1847. 



Xll PHEFACE TO THE EDITION OF 1851. 

as the main essential of style in narrative, viz., its harmony with 
the subject selected, and the passions to be moved; while it 
exceeds them all in the minuteness and fidelity of its descriptions 
of external nature. This indeed it ought to do, since the study 
of external nature is made a peculiar attribute of the principal 
character whose fate colours the narrative. I do not know whether 
it has been observed that the time occupied by the events of the 
story is conveyed through the medium of such descriptions. Each 
description is introduced, not for its own sake, but to serve as a 
calendar marking the gradual changes of the seasons as they bear 
on to his doom the guilty worshipper of Nature. And in this 
conception, and in the care with which it has been followed out, I 
recognise one of my earliest but most successful attempts at the 
subtler principles of narrative art. 

In this edition I have made one alteration, somewhat more 
important than mere verbal correction. On going, with maturer 
judgment, over all the evidences on which Aram was condemned, 
I have convineed myself that, though an accomplice in the robbery 
of Clarke, he was free both from the premeditated design and the 
actual deed of murder. The crime, indeed, would still rest on his 
conscience, and insure his punishment, as necessarily incidental 
to the robbery in which he was an accomplice, with Houseman ; 
but finding my convictions, that in the murder itself he had no 
share, borne out by the opinion of many eminent lawyers, by whom 
I have heard the subject discussed, I have accordingly so shaped 
his confession to Walter. 

Perhaps it will not be without interest to the reader, if I append 
to this preface an authentic specimen of Eugene Aram's compo- 
sition, for which I am indebted to the courtesy of a gentleman by 
whose grandfather it was received, with other papers (especially a 
remarkable " Outline of a New Lexicon"), during Aram's con- 
finement in York Prison. The essay I select is, indeed, not with- 
out value in itself as a very curious and learned illustration of 
Popular Antiquities, and it serves also to show not only the 
comprehensive nature of Aram's studies, and the inquisitive 
eagerness of his mind, but also the fact that he was completely 
self-taught ; for in contrast to much philological erudition, and to 
passages that evince considerable mastery in the higher resources 
of language, we may occasionally notice those lesser inaccuracies 
from which the writings of men solely self-educated are rarely 



ESSAY. BY EtTGENE AKAM. xiil 

free ; indeed, Aram himself, in sending to a gentleman an elegy 
on Sir John Armitage, which shows much but undisciplined 
power of versification, says, " I send this elegy, which, indeed, if 
you had not had the curiosity to desire, I could not have had the 
assurance to offer, scarce believing I, who was hardly taught to 
read, have any abilities to write." 



THE MELSTJPPER AND SHOUTING THE CHUPN. 

These rural entertainments and usages were formerly more 
general all over England than they are at present ; being become 
by time, necessity, or avarice, complex, confined, and altered. 
They are commonly insisted upon by the reapers as customary 
things, and a part of their due for the toils of the harvest, and 
complied with by their masters perhaps more through regards of 
interest, than inclination. For should they refuse them the 
pleasure of this much-expected time, this festal night, the youth 
especially, of both sexes, would decline serving them for the 
future, and employ their labours for others who would promise 
them the rustic joys of the harvest supper, mirth and music, dance 
and song. These feasts appear to be the relics of Pagan ceremonies, 
or of Judaism, it is hard to say which, and carry in them more 
meaning and are of far higher antiquity than is generally appre- 
hended. It is true the subject is more curious than important, 
and I believe altogether untouched ; and as it seems to be little 
understood, has been as little adverted to. I do not remember it 
to have been so much as the subject of a conversation. Let us 
make then a little excursion into this field, for the same reason 
men sometimes take a walk. Its traces are discoverable at a very 
great distance of time from ours, nay, seem as old as a sense of joy 
for the benefit of plentiful harvests and human gratitude to the 
eternal Creator for his munificence to men. We hear it under 
various names in different counties, and often in the same county ; 
as, melsupper, churn supper, harvest supper, harvest home, feast 
of in-gathering, &c. And perhaps this feast had been long 
observed, and by different tribes of people, before it became per- 
ceptive with the Jews. However, let that be as it will, the custom 
very lucidly appears from the following passages of S. S., Exod. 
xxiii. 16 : " And. the feast of harvest, the first fruits of thy labours, 
which thou hast sown in the field." And its institution as a 
sacred rite is commanded in Levit. xxiii. 39: "When ye have 

Eathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast to the 
,ord." 

The Jews then, as is evident from hence, celebrated the feast of 
harvest, and that by precept ; and though no vestiges of any such 



Xiv ESSAY, 

feast either are or can be produced before these, yet the oblation of 
the Prioritise, of which this feast was a consequence, is met with 
prior to this, for we find that, " Cain brought of the fruit of the 
ground an offering to the Lord." Gen. iv. 3. 

Yet this offering of the first fruits, it may well be supposed, was 
not peculiar to the Jews, either at the time of, or after, its es- 
tablishment by their legislator ; neither the feast in consequence 
of it. Many other nations, either in imitation of the Jews, or rather 
by tradition from their several patriarchs, observed the right of 
offering their Primitive, and of solemnising a festival after it, in 
religious acknowledgment for the blessing of harvest, though that 
acknowledgment was ignorantly misapplied in being directed to a 
secondary, not the primary, fountain of this benefit ; — namely, to 
Apollo or the Sun. 

For Callimachus affirms that these PrimitiEe were sent by the 
people of every nation to the temple of Apollo in Delos, the moat 
distant that enjoyed the happiness of corn and harvest, even by the 
Hyperboreans in particular, Hymn to Apol., Ot [iivtoi Kakujxrjv rt 
icai'upa dpayfia TrpuiToi aaraKvujv, "Bring the sacred sheafs, and 
the mystic offerings." 

Herodotus also mentions this annual custom of the Hyperbo- 
reans, remarking that those of Delos talk of 'Itpa tvStSijxtva tv 
KaKafiy TTvpuv t%'TTtip^optu)v, "Holy things tied up in sheaf of 
wheat conveyed from the Hyperboreans." And the Jews, by the 
command of their law, offered also a sheaf : " And shall reap the 
harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of the 
harvest unto the priest." 

This is not introduced in proof of any feast observed by the 
people who had harvests, but to show the universality of the cus- 
tom of offering the Primitive, which preceded this feast. But yet 
it may be looked upon as equivalent to a proof; for as the offering 
and the feast appear to have been always and intimately connected 
in countries affording records, so it is more than probable they 
were connected too in countries which had none, or none that ever 
survived to our times. An entertainment and gaiety were still the 
concomitants of these rites, which with the vulgar, one may pretty 
truly suppose, were esteemed the most acceptable and material part 
of them, and a great reason of their having subsisted through such 
a length of ages, when both the populace and many of the learned, 
too, have lost sight of the object to which they had been originally 
directed. This, among many other ceremonies of the heathen 
worship, became disused in some places and retained in others, but 
still continued declining after the promulgation of the Gospel. In 
short, there seems great reason to conclude, that this feast, which 
was once sacred to Apollo, was constantly maintained, when a far 
less valuable circumstance, i. e., shouting the churn, is observed to 
this day by the reapers, and from so old an era ; for we read of this 
acclamation, Isa. xvi. 9 : " For the shouting for thy summer fruits 
and for thy har~ost is fallen ; " and again, ver. 10 : " And in the 
vineyards there shall be no singing, their shouting shall be no 
shouting." Hence, then, or from some of the Phoenician colonies, 



BY EUUEUE AEAM. XV 

is our traditionary "shouting the churn." But it seems these 
Orientals shouted both for joy of their harvest of grapes, and of 
corn. We have no quantity of the first to occasion so much joy as 
does our plenty of the last ; and I do not remember to have 
heard whether their vintages abroad are attended with this 
custom. Bread or cakes compose part of the Hebrew offering 
(Levit. xxiii. 13), and a cake thrown upon the head of the victim 
was also part of the Greek offering to Apollo (see Horn. 11. a) 
whose worship was formerly celebrated in Britain, where the May- 
pole yet continues one remain of it. This they adorned with 
garlands on May-day, to welcome the approach of Apollo, or the 
sun, towards the north, and to signify that those flowers were the 
product of his presence and influence. But, upon the progress of 
Christianity, as was observed above, Apollo lost his divinity again, 
and the adoration of his deity subsided by degrees. Yet so 
permanent is custom, that this right of the harvest-supper, to- 
gether with that of the May-pole (of which last see Voss. de Orig. 
and Prag. Idolatr. 1, 2), have been preserved in Britain ; and what 
had been anciently offered to the god, the reapers as prudently eat 
up themselves. 

At last the use of the meal of the new corn was neglected, 
and the supper, so far as meal was concerned, was made indiffer- 
ently of old or new corn, as was most agreeable to the founder. 
And here the usage itself accounts for the name of Melsupper 
(where mel signifies meal, or else the instrument called with us a 
Mell, wherewith antiquity reduced their corn to meal in a mortar, 
which still amounts to the same thing) for provisions of meal, or 
of corn in furmity, &c, composed by far the greatest part in 
these elder and country entertainments, perfectly conformable to 
the simplicity of those times, places, and persons, however meanly 
they may now be looked upon. And as the harvest was last 
concluded with several preparations of meal, or brought to be 
ready for the mell, this term became, in a translated signifi- 
cation, to mean the last of other things ; as, when a horse 
comes last in the race, they often say in the north, "he has got 
the mell." 

All the other names of this country festivity sufficiently explain 
themselves, except Churn-supper, and this is entirely different 
from Melsupper ; but they generally happen so near together, 
that they are frequently confounded. The Churn-supper was 
always provided when all was shorn, but the Melsupper after all 
was got in. And it was called the Churn-supper, because, from 
immemorial times, it was customary to produce in a churn a great 
quantity of cream, and to circulate it by dishfuls to each of the 
rustic company, to be eaten with bread. And here sometimes 
very extraordinary execution has been done upon cream. And 
though this custom has been disused in many places, and agree- 
ably commuted for by ale, yet it survives still, and that about 
Whitby and Scarborough in the east, and round about Gisburn, 
&c, in Craven, in the west. But, perhaps, a century or two more 
will put an end to it, and both the thing and name shall die. 



Xvi ESSAY, BY EUGENE AKA1T. 

Vicarious ale is now more approved, and the tankard almost 
everywhere politely preferred to the Churn. 

This Churn (in our provincial pronunciation Kern) is the 
Hebrew Kern, pp or Keren, from its being circular like most 
horns : and it is the Latin corona, named so either from radii, 
resembling horns, as on some very antient coins, or from its 
encircling the head ; so a ring of people is called corona. _ Also 
the Celtic Koren, Keren, or corn, which continues according to 
its old pronunciation in Cornwall, &c, and our modern word horn 
Ls no more than this ; the antient hard sound of k in corn being 
softened into the aspirate h, as has been done in numberless 
instances. 

The Irish Celtse also called a round stone, clogh crene, where the 
variation is merely dialectic. Hence, too, our crane-berries, i. e. 
round berries, from this Celtic adjective, crene, round. 

N.B. The quotations from Scripture in Aram's original MS. 
were both in the Hebrew character, and their value in Englist 
sounds. 



EUGENE ARAM. 



BOOK I. 
CHAPTEE I. 

THE TILLAGE.— ITS INHABITANTS.— AN OLD MANOR-HOUSE, AND AS 
ENGLISH FAMILY; THEIR HISTORY, INVOLVING A MYSTERIOUS 
EVENT. 



Protected by the divinity they adored, supported by the earth which they culti- 
vated, and at peace witli themselves, they enjoyed the sweets of life without 
dreading or desiring dissolution. — Numa Pompilius. 



In the county of there is a sequestered hamlet, which I 

have often sought occasion to pass, and which I have never left 
without a certain reluctance and regret. The place, indeed, is 
associated with the memory of events that still retain a singular 
and fearful interest, — but the scene needs not the charm of legend 
to arrest the attention of the traveller. In no part of the world 
which it has been my lot to visit, have I seen a landscape of more 
pastoral beauty. The hamlet, to which I shall here give the 
name of Grassdale, is situated in a valley, which, for about the 
length of a mile, winds among gardens and orchards laden with 
fruit, between two chains of gentle and fertile hills. 

Here, singly or in pairs, are scattered cottages, which bespeak a 
comfort and a rural luxury less often than our poets have described 
the characteristics of the English peasantry. It has been observed, 
that wherever you see a flower in a cottage garden, or a birdcage 
at the cottage casement, you may feel sure that the inmates are 
better and wiser than their neighbours ; and such humble tokens 
of attention to something beyond the sterile labour of life, were 
(we must now revert to the past) to be remarked in almost every 
one of the lowly abodes at Grassdale. The jasmine here, — there 
the rose or honeysuckle, clustered over the lattice and threshold, 
not so wildly as to testify negligence, but rather to sweeten the 
air than exclude the light. Each of the cottages possessed at its 
rear its plot of ground apportioned to the more useful and nutri- 
tious products of nature ; while the greater part of them fenced 
also from the unfrequented road a little spot for the lupin, the 



2 EUGEUJS AttA.M. 

sweet-pea, the wallflower, or the stock. And it is not un worthy 
of remark, that the bees came in greater clusters to Grassdale than 
to any other part of that rich and cultivated district. A small 
piece of waste land, which was intersected by a brook, fringed 
with ozier and dwarf and fantastic pollards, afforded pasture for a 
few cows and the only carrier's solitary horse. The stream itself 
was of no ignoble repute among the gentle craft of the Angle, the 
brotherhood whom our associations defend in the spite > of our 
mercy ; and this repute drew welcome and periodical itinerants 
to the village, who furnished it with its scanty news of the great 
world without, and maintained in a decorous custom the little 
und single hostelry of the place. Not that Peter Dealtry, the pro- 
prietor of the " Spotted Dog," was altogether contented to subsist 
upon the gains of his hospitable profession; he joined thereto 
the light cares of a small farm, held under a wealthy and an 
easy landlord ; and being moreover honoured with the dignity of 
clerk to the parish, he was deemed by his neighbours a person of 
no small accomplishment, and no insignificant distinction. He 
was a little, dry, thin man, of a turn rather sentimental than 
jocose. A memory well stored with fag-ends of psalms and hymns 
(which, being less familiar than the psalms to the ears of the 
villagers, were more than suspected to be his own composition), 
often gave a poetic and semi-religious colouring to his conversa- 
tion, which accorded rather with his dignity in the church than 
his post at the " Spotted Dog." Yet he disliked not his joke, 
though it was subtle and delicate of nature ; nor did he disdain 
to bear companionship over his own liquor with guests less gifted 
and refined. 

In the centre of the village you chanced upon a cottage which 
had been lately whitewashed, where a certain preciseness in the 
owner might be detected in the clipped hedge, and the exact and 
newly-mended stile by which you approached the habitation. 
Herein dwelt the beau and bachelor of the village, somewhat an- 
tiquated it is true, but still an object of great attention and some 
hope to the elder damsels in the vicinity, and of a respectful 
popularity (that did not, however, prohibit a joke) among the 
younger. Jacob Bunting — so was this gentleman called — had 
been for many years in the king's service, in which he had risen 
to the rank of corporal, and had saved and pinched together a 
certain small independence, upon which he now rented his cottage 
and enjoyed his leisure. He had seen a good deal of the world, 
: i ud profited in shrewdness by his experience ; he had rubbed off, 
however, all superfluous devotion as he rubbed off his prejudices; 
and though lie drank more often than any one else with the land- 
lord of the " Spotted Dog," there was not a wit in the place who 
showed so little indulgence to the publican's segments of psalmody. 
iacob was a tall, comely, and perpendicular personage ; his thread- 
hare coat was scrupulously brushed, and his hair punctiliously 
plastered at the sides into two stiff, obstinate-looking curls, and at 
the top into what he was pleased to call a feather, though it was much 
more like a tile. His conversation had in it something peculiar : 



rudKXi; aj;am. 3 

generally it assumed a quick, short, abrupt turn, that, vetrench- 
ing all superfluities of pronoun and conjunction, and marching at 
once upon the meaning of the sentence, had in it a military and 
Spartan significance, which betrayed how difficult it often is for 
a man to forget that he has been a corporal. Occasionally, indeed, 
— for where but in farces is the phraseology of the humourist 
always the same ? — he escaped into a more enlarged and Christian- 
like method of dealing with the king's English; but that was 
chiefly noticeable when from conversation he launched himself 
into lecture, — a luxury the worthy soldier loved greatly to indulge, 
for much had he seen and somewhat had he reflected ; and valuing 
himself, which was odd in a corporal, more on his knowledge of 
the world than his knowledge even of war, he rarely missed any 
occasion of edifying a patient listener with the result of his obser- 
vations. 

After you had sauntered by the veteran's door, beside which you 
generally, if the evening were tine, or he was not drinking with 
neighbour Dealtry, or taking his tea with gossip this or master 
that, or teaching some emulous urchins the broadsword exercise, 
or snaring trout in the stream, or, in short, otherwise engaged; 
beside which, 1 say, you not unfrequently beheld him sitting on a 
rude bench, and enjoying with half-shut eyes, crossed legs, but 
still unindulgently-erect posture, the luxury of his pipe ; you 
ventured over a little wooden bridge, beneath which, clear and 
shallow, ran the rivulet we have before honourably mentioned, and 
a walk of a few minutes brought you to a moderately-sized and 
old-fashioned mansion — the manor-house of the parish. It stood at 
the very foot of the hill ; behind, a rich, ancient, and hanging 
wood, brought into relief the exceeding freshness and verdure of 
the patch of green meadow immediately in front. On one side, the 
warden was bounded by the village churchyard, with its simple 
mounds, and its few scattered and humble tombs. The church was 
of great antiquity ; and it was only in one point of view that you 
«.-aught more than a glimpse of its grey tower and graceful, spire, 
m> thickly and so darkly grouped the yew-tree and the pine around 
ihe edifice. Opposite the gate by which you gained the house, tho 
view was not extended, but rich with wood and pasture, backed by- 
a hill, which, less verdant than its fellows, was covered with sheep ; 
while you saw, hard by, the rivulet darkening and stealing away 
till your sight, though not your ear, lost it among the woodland. 

Trained up the embrowned paling, on either side of the gate, 
were bushes of rustic fruit ; and fruit and flowers (through plots of 
which green and winding alleys had been cut with no untasteful 
hand) testiiied, by their thriving and healthful looks, the care 
bestowed upon them. The main boasts of the garden were, on one 
side, a huge horse-chestnut tree — the largest in the village; and 
on the other, an arbour covered without with honeysuckles, and 
tapestried within by moss. The house, a grey and quaint building 
of the time of James I., with stone copings and gable roof, could 
scarcely in these days have been deemed a fitting residence for the 
lord of the manor. Nearly the whole of the centre was occupied 



4 EUGEXE A.UAM 

by the hall, in which the meals of the family were commonly held 
— only two other sitting-rooms of very moderate dimensions had 
been reserved by the architect for the convenience or ostentation 
of the proprietor. An ample porch jutted from the main building, 
and this was covered with ivy, as the sides of the windows were 
with jasmine and honeysuckle ; while seats were ranged inside the 
porch carved with many a rude initial and long-past date. 

The owner of this mansion bore the name of Rowland Lester. 
His forefathers, without pretending to high antiquity of family, 
had held the dignity of squires of Grassdale for some two centuries ; 
and Rowland Lester was perhaps the first of the race who had 
stirred above fifty miles from the house in which each successive 
lord had received his birth, or the green churchyard in which was 
yet chronicled his death. The present proprietor was a man of 
cultivated tastes ; and abilities, naturally not much above medio- 
crity, had been improved by travel as well as study. Himself and 
one younger brother had been early left masters of their fate and 
their several portions. The younger, Geoffrey, testified a roving 
and dissipated turn. Bold, licentious, extravagant, unprincipled — 
his career soon outstripped the slender fortunes of a cadet in the 
family of a country squire. He was early thrown into difficulties, 
but by some means or other they never seemed to overwhelm 
him ; an unexpected turn — a lucky adventure — presented itself at 
the very moment when Fortune appeared the most utterly to have 
deserted him. 

Among these more propitious fluctuations in the tide of affairs, 
was, at about the age of forty, a sudden marriage with a young 
lady of what might be termed (for Geoffrey Lester's rank of life, 
and the rational expenses of that day) a very competent _ and 
respectable fortune. Unhappily, however, the lady was neither 
handsome in feature nor gentle in temper ; and, after a few years 
of quarrel and contest, the faithless husband, one bright morning, 
having collected in his proper person whatever remained of their 
fortune, absconded from the conjugal hearth without either warn- 
ing or farewell. He left nothing to his wife but his house, his 
debts, and his only child, a son. From that time to the present 
little had been known, though much had been conjectured, con- 
cerning the deserter. For the first few years they traced, however, 
go far of his fate as to learn that he had been seen once in India ; 
and that previously he had been met in England by a relation, 
under the disguise of assumed names : a proof that whatever his 
occupations, they could scarcely be very respectable. But, of late, 
nothing whatsoever relating to the wanderer had transpired. By 
some he was imagined dead; by most he was forgotten. Those 
more immediately connected with him — his brother in especial — 
cherished a secret belief, that wherever Geoffrey Lester should 
chance to alight, the manner of alighting would (to use the signifi- 
cant and homely metaphor) be always on his legs : and coupling 
the wonted luck of the scapegrace with the fact of his having been 
seen in India, Rowland in his heart not only hoped, but fully 
expected, that the lost one would, some day or other, return hom* 



KCGKirE AMU 5 

laden with the spoils of the East, and eager to shower upon his 
relatives, in recompense of long desertion, 

" With richest hand barbaric pearl and gold." 

But we must return to the forsaken spouse. Left in this abrupt 
destitution and distress, Mrs. Lester had only the resource of 
applying to her brother-in-law, whom indeed the fugitive had 
before seized many opportunities of not leaving wholly unprepared 
for such an application. Rowland promptly and generously obeyed. 
the summons : he took the child and the wife to his own home ; he 
freed the latter from the persecutions of all legal claimants ; and, 
after selling such effects as remained, he devoted the whole pro- 
ceeds to the forsaken family, without regarding his own expenses 
on their behalf, ill as he was able to afford the luxury of that self- 
neglect. The wife did not long need the asylum of his hearth, — she, 
poor lady, died of a slow fever produced by irritation and disap- 
pointment, a few months after Geoffrey's desertion. She had no 
need to recommend her child to his kind-hearted uncle's care. 
And now we must glance over the elder brother's domestic 
fortunes. 

In Lowland, the wild dispositions of his brother were so far 
tamed, that they assumed only the character of a buoyant temper 
and a gay spirit. He had strong principles as well as warm 
feelings, and a fine and resolute sense of honour utterly impervious 
to attack. It was impossible to be in his company an hour and not 
see that he was a man to be respected. It was equally impossible 
to live with him a week and not see that he was a man to be 
beloved. He also had married, and about a year after that era in 
the life of his brother, but not for the same advantage of fortune. 
He had formed an attachment to the portionless daughter of a man 
in his own neighbourhood and of his own rank. He wooed and 
won her, and for a few years he enjoyed that greatest happiness 
which the world is capable of bestowing — the society and the love 
of one in whom we could wish for no change, and beyond whom we 
have no desire. But what Evil cannot corrupt Fate seldom spares. 
A few months after the birth of a second daughter, the young wife 
of Lowland Lester died. It was to a widowed hearth that the 
wife and child of his brother came for shelter. Lowland was a man 
of an affectionate and warm heart ; if the blow did not crush, at 
lea it it changed him. Naturally of a cheerful and ardent dispo- 
sition, his mood now became more sober and sedate. He shrunk 
from the rural gaieties and companionship he had before courted 
and enlivened, and for the first time in his Lfe, the mourner felt 
the holiness of solitude. As his nephew and his motherless 
daughters grew up, they gave an object to his seclusion and a relief 
to his reflections. He found a pure and unfailing delight in watch- 
ing the growth of their young minds, and guiding their differing 
dispositions ; and as time at length enabled them to return his 
affection, and appreciate his cares, he became once more sensible 
'-hat he had a home. 

The elder of his daughters, Madeline, at the time our story opens 



6 EUGEJS'JE AHAM. 

had attained the age of eighteen. She was the beauty and the 
boast of the whole country. Above the ordinary height, her figure 
was richly and exquisitely formed. So translucently pure and soft 
was her complexion, that it might have seemed the token of delicate 
health, but for the dewy redness of her lips, and the freshness of 
teeth whiter than pearls. Her eyes, of a deep blue, wore a thought- 
ful and serene expression ; and her forehead, higher and broader 
than it usually is in women, gave promise of a certain nobleness of 
intellect, and added dignity, but a feminine dignity, to the more 
tender characteristics of her beauty. And, indeed, the peculiar 
tone of Madeline's mind fulfilled the indication of her features, and 
was eminently thoughtful and high-wrought. She had early testi- 
fied a remarkable love for study, and not only a desire for know- 
ledge, but a veneration for those who possessed it. The remote 
corner of the' country in which they lived, and the rarely-broken 
seclusion which Lester habitually preserved from the intercourse 
of their few and scattered neighbours, had naturally cast each 
member of the little circle upon his or her own resources. An 
accident, some five years ago, had confined Madeline for several 
weeks, or rather months, to the house : and as the old hall pos- 
sessed a very respectable share of books, she had then matured and 
confirmed that love for reading and reflection which she had at a 
yet earlier period prematurely evinced. The woman's tendency 
to romance naturally tinctured her meditations, and thus, while 
they dignified, they also softened her mind. Her sister Ellinor, 
younger by two years, was of a character equally gentle, but less 
elevated. She looked up to her sister as a superior being. She felt 
pride, without a shadow of envy, for Madeline's superior and sur- 
passing beauty ; and was unconsciously guided in her pursuits and 
predilections by a mind which she cheerfully acknowledged to be 
loftier than her own. And yet Ellinor had also her pretensions to 
personal loveliness, and pretensions perhaps that would be less 
reluctantly acknowledged by her own sex than those of her sister. 
The sunlight of a happy and innoeent heart sparkled on her face, 
and gave a beam it gladdened you to behold to her quick hazel eye, 
and a smile that broke out from a thousand dimples. She did not 
possess the height of Madeline, and though not so slender as to be 
curtailed of the roundness and feminine luxuriance of beauty, her 
shape was slighter, feebler, and less rich in its symmetry than her 
isister's. And this the tendency of the physical frame to require 
elsewhere support, nor to feel secure of strength, perhaps influenced 
her mind, and made love and the dependence of love more necessary 
to her than to the thoughtful and lofty Madeline. The latter might 
pass through life, and never see the one to whom her heart could 
give itself away. But every village might possess a hero whom the 
imagination of Ellinor could clothe with unreal graces, and towards 
whom the lovingness of her disposition might bias her affections. 
Both, however, eminently possessed that earnestness and purity of 
heart which would have made them, perhaps in an equal degree, 
constant and devoted to the object of an attachment once formed. 
in defiance of change, and to the brink of death. 



Their cousin Walter, Geoffrey Lester's son, was now in his 
twenty-iirst year ; tall and strong- of person, and with a face, if 
not regularly handsome, striking enough to be generally deemed 
so. High-spirited, bold, fiery, impatient ; jealous of the affections. 
of those he loved ; cheerful to outward seeming, but restless, fond 
of change, and subject to the melancholy and pining mood common 
to young and ardent minds : such was the character of Walter 
Lester. The estates of Lester were settled in the male line, and 
devolved therefore upon him. Yet there were moments when he 
keenly felt his orphan and deserted situation, and signed to think 
that, while his father perhaps yet lived, he was a dependent for 
affection, if not for maintenance, on the kindness of others. This 
reflection sometimes gave an air of sullenness or petulance to his 
character, that did not really belong to it. For what in the world 
makes a man of just pride appear so unamiable as the sense of 
dependence ? 



CHAPTER II. 

A rUBLICAN, A SINNER, AND A STEANGER. 



Ah, Don Alphonso, is it you ? Agreeable accident ! Chance presents you to my 
yes where you were least expected. — GU Mas. 



It was an evening in the beginning of summer, and Peter Dealtry 
and the ci-devant corporal sat beneath the sign of the " Spotted 
Dog " (as it hung motionless from the bough of a friendly elm), 
quaffing a cup of boon companionship. The reader will imagine 
the two men very different from each other in form and aspect ; 
the one short, dry, fragile, and betraying a love of ease in his 
unbuttoned vest, and a certain lolling, see-sawing method of ba- 
lancing his body, upon his chair ; the other, erect and solemn, and 
as steady on his seat as if he were nailed to it. It was a fine, 
tranquil, balmy evening ; the sun had just set, and the clouds still 
retained the rosy tints which they had caught from its parting' 
ray. Here and there, at scattered intervals, you might see the 
cottages peeping from the trees around them ; or mark the smoke 
that rose from their roofs— roof's green with mosses and house-leek, 
— in graceful and spiral curls against the clear soft air. It was an. 
English scene, and the two men, the dog at their feet (for Peter 
Dealtry favoured a wiry stone-coloured cur, which he called a 
terrier), and just at the door of the little inn, two old gossips, 
loitering on the threshold, in familiar chat with the landlady in. 
cap and kerchief, — all together made a group equally English, and 
somewhat picturesque, though homely enough, in effect. 

" Well, now," said Peter Dealtry, as he pushed the brown. ju$» 
towards the corporal, " this is what I tail pleasant; it puts me in 
mind " 



EUGENE ARAM. 



" Of what ? " quoth tlie corporal. 

" Of those nice lines in the hymn, Master Bunting : 

' How fair ye are, ye little hills : 
Ye little fields also : 



Ye murmuring streams that sweetly run ; 
Ye willows in a row ! ' 



L'here is something very comfortable in sacred verses, Master Bunt- 
ing : but you're a scofl'er." 

" Psha, man ! " said the corporal, throwing out his right leg and 
leaning back, with his eyes half shut, and his chin protruded, as 
he took an unusually long inhalation from his pipe. " Psha, man ! 
— send verses to the rightabout — fit for girls going to school of a 
Sunday ; full-grown men more up to snuff. I've seen the world, 
Master Dealtry ;— the world, and be d d to you ! — augh ! " 

" Fie, neighbour, fie ! What's the good of profaneness, evil- 
speaking, and slandering ? — 

* Oaths are the debts your spendthrift soul must pay ; 
All scores are chalked against the reckoning day.' 

Just wait a bit, neighbour ; wait till I light my pipe." 

"Tell you what," said the corporal, after he had communicated 
from his own pipe the friendly flame to his comrade's ; " tell yov 
what — talk nonsense ; the commander-in-chief's no martinet — u 
we're all right in action, he'll wink at a slip word or two. Come, 
no humbug — hold jaw. D'ye think God would sooner have a 
snivelling fellow like you in his regiment, than a man like me, 
clean-limbed, straight as a dart, six feet one without his shoes ? — 
Baugh ! " 

This notion of the corporal's, by which he would have likened 
the dominion of heaven to the King of Prussia's body-guard, and 
only admitted the elect on account of their inches, so tickled mine 
host's fancy, that he leaned back in his chair and indulged in a 
long, dry, obstreperous cachinnation. This irreverence mightily 
displeased the corporal. He looked at the little man very sourly, 
and said, in his least smooth accentuation, — 

"What—devil — cackling at? — Always grin, grin, grin — giggle, 
giggle, giggle — psha ! " 

" Why really, neighbour," said Peter, composing himself, " you 
must let a man laugh now and then." 

"Man!" said the corporal; "man's, a noble animal ! Man's a 
musket, primed, loaded, ready to save a friend or kill a foe — ■ 
charge not to be wasted on every tom-tit. But you ! not a musket, 
but a cracker ! noisy, harmless, can't touch you, but off you go, 
whizz, pop, bang in one's face ! — baugh ! " 

" Well ! " said the good-humoured landlord, " I should think 
Master Aram, the great scholar who lives down the vale yonder, a 
man quite after your own heart. He is grave enough to suit you. 
He does not laugh very easily, I fancy." 

" After my heart ? Stoops like a bow ! " 

" Indeed he does look on the ground as he walks ; when I think, 
I do the same. But what a marvellous man it is ! I hear that he 



IXGENE AKAM 9 

reads the Psalms in Hebrew. He's very affable and meek-like for 
such a scholard." 

" Tell yon what. Seen the world, Master Dealtry, and know a 
thine; or two. Your shy dog is always a deep one. Give me :' 
man who looks me in the face as he would a cannon ! " 

" Or a lass," said Peter, knowingly. 

The grim corporal smiled. 

"Talking of lasses," said the soldier, re-filling his pipe, "what 
creature Miss Lester is ! Such eyes ! — such nose ! Fit for a colonel, 
by Gad ! ay, or a major-general ! " 

" For my part, I think Miss Ellinor almost as handsome ; not so 
grand-like, but more lovesome." 

" Nice little thing ! " said the corporal, condescendingly. " But 
zooks ! whom have we here ? " 

This last question was applied to a man who was slowly turning 
from the road towards the inn. The stranger, for such he was, 
was stout, thick-set, and of middle height. His dress was not 
without pretension to a rank higher than the lowest ; but it was 
threadbare and worn, and soiled with dust and travel. His ap- 
pearance was by no means prepossessing : small sunken eyes of a 
light hazel, and a restless and rather fierce expression ; a thick 
iiat nose, high cheek-bones, a large bony jaw from which the flesh 
receded, and a bull throat indicative of great strength, constituted 
his claims to personal attraction. The stately corporal, without 
moving, kept a vigilant and suspicious eye upon the new-comer, 
muttering to Peter,- — " Customer for you ; rum customer too — by 
Gad ! " 

The stranger now reached the little table, and halting short, took 
up the brown jug, without ceremony or preface, and emptied it at 
a draught. 

The corporal stared — the corporal frowned ; but before — for he 
was somewhat slow of speech — he had time to vent his displeasure, 
the stranger, wiping his mouth with his sleeve, said, in rather a 
civil and apologetic tone,— 

" I beg pardon, gentlemen. I have had a long march of it, and 
very tired I am." 

"Humph! march!" said the corporal a little appeased : "not in 
his majesty's service — eh ? " 

"Xot now," answered the traveller; then, turning round to 
Dealtry, he said, — " Are you landlord here ?" 

" At your service," said Peter, with the indifference of a man 
well to do, and not ambitious of halfpence. 

' Come, then, quick — budge," said the traveller, tapping him 
on the back : " bring more glasses — another jug of the October ; 
and anything or everything your larder is able to produce— d'ya 
hear ? " 

Peter, by no means pleased with the briskness of this address, 
eyed the dusty and way-worn pedestrian from head to foot ; then, 
looking over his shoulder towards the door, he said, as he ensconced 
himself yet more firmly on his seat : — 
' ' There's my wife by the door, friend ; go, tell her what you want. 



10 IXGEXl'.. AllAll 

"Do you know," said the traveller, in a slow and measured 
accent — " Do you know, master Shrivel-face, that 1 have more 
than half a mind to break your head for impertinence? You 
a landlord ! — you keep an inn, indeed ! Come, sir, make off, 
or " 

" Corporal !— corporal !" cried Peter, retreating hastily from his 
seat as the brawny traveller approached menacingly towards him — 
" You won't see the peace broken. Have a care, friend, have a care. 
I'm clerk to the parish — clerk to the parish, sir— and I'll indict you 
for sacrilege." 

The wooden features of Bunting relaxed into a sort of grin at the 
alarm of his friend. He puffed away, without making any reply ; 
meanwhile the traveller, taking advantage of Peter's hasty aban- 
donment of his cathedrarian accommodation, seized the vacant 
chair, and, drawing it yet closer to the table, flung himself upon 
it, and placing his hat on the table, wiped his brows with the air 
of a man about to make himself thoroughly at home. 

Peter Dealtry was assuredly a personage of peaceable disposi- 
tion j but then he had the proper pride of a host and a clerk. His 
feelings were exceedingly wounded at this cavalier treatment — 
before the very eyes of his wife too ! — what an example ! He 
thrust his hands deep into his breeches' pockets, and strutting 
with a ferocious swagger towards the traveller, he said : — ■ 

" Harkye, sirrah ! This is not the way folks are treated in this 
country : and I'd have you to know, that I'm a man what has a 
brother a constable." 

"Well, sir!" 

" Well, sir, indeed ! Well !— Sir, it's not well, by no man- 
ner of means ; and if you don't pay for the ale you drank, and go 
quietly about your business, I'll have you put in the stocks for a 
vagrant." 

This, the most menacing speech Peter Dealtry was ever known 
to deliver, was uttered with so much spirit, that the corporal, who 
had hitherto preserved silence — for he was too strict a disciplinarian 
to thrust himself unnecessarily into brawls — turned approvingly 
round, and nodding, as well as his stock would suffer him, at the 
indignant Peter, he said, " Well done ! 'fegs — you've a soul, man ! 
— a soul fit for the forty-second ! augh ! — A soul' above the inches 
of five feet two !" 

There was something bitter and sneering in the traveller's aspect 
as he now, regarding Dealtry, repeated : — 

" Vagrant !— humph ! And pray what is a vagrant r" 

"What is a vagrant?" echoed Peter, a little puzzled. 

" Yes ! answer me that." 

" Why, a vagrant is a man what wanders, and what has no 
money." 

" Truly," said the stranger, smiling ; but the smile by no means 
improved his physiognomy, " an excellent definition ; but one which, 
I will convince you, does not apply to me. So saying, he drew 
from his pocket a handful of silver coins, and, throwing them on 
the table, added, — " Come, let's have no more of this. You see I 



LUULNI: Alt \M U 

can pay for what I order ; and now, do recollect that I am a weary 
and hungry man." 

No sooner did Peter behold the money, than a sudden placidity 
stole over his ruffled spirit, — nay, a certain benevolent commisera- 
tion for the fatigue and wants of the traveller replaced at once„ 
and as by a spell, the angry feeling's that had previously roused 
him. 

" Weary and hungry," said he ; " why did you not say that before ? 
That would have been quite enough for Peter Dealtry. Thank 
Heaven ! I am a man what can feel for my neighbours. I have 
bowels — yes, 1 have bowels. Weary and hungry ! — you shall be 
served in an instant. I may be a little hasty or so, but I'm a good 
Christian at bottom — ask the corporal. And what says the Psalmist, 
Psalm 147: — 

By Him, the beasts that loosely range 

With timely food are fed : 
He speaks the word — and what He wills 

Is done as soon as said.' " 

Animating his kindly emotions by this apt quotation, Peter 
turned to the house. The corporal now broke silence : the sight 
of the money had not been without an effect upon him, as well as 
the landlord. 

" Warm day, sir : your health. Oh ! forget you emptied jug— 
baugh ? You said you were not now in his majesty's service. Beg 
pardon ; — were you ever ?" 

" Why, once I was, many years ago." 

"Ah! — and what regiment ? I was in the forty-second. Heard 
of the forty-second? Colonel's name, Dysart; captain's, Trotter - y 
corporal's, Bunting, at your service." 

"I am much obliged by your confidence," said the traveller, 
drily. '' I dare say you have seen much service." 

" Service ! Ah ! may well say that ;— twenty-three years' hard 
work : and not the better for it ! A man that loves his country is 
'titled to a pension, that's my mind ! But the world don't smile 
upon corporals — augh ! " 

Here Peter reappeared with a fresh supply of the October, and an 
assurance that the cold meat would speedily follow. 

" I hope yourself and this gentleman will bear me company," 
said the traveller, passing the jug to the corporal ; and in a few 
moments, so well pleased grew the trio with each other, that the 
sound of their laughter came loud and frequent to the ears of the 
good housewife within. 

The traveller now seemed to the corporal and mine host a right 
jolly, good-humoured fellow. Not, however, that he bore a fair 
share m the conversation ; he rather promoted the hilarity of his 
new acquaintances than led it. He laughed heartily at Peter's jests, 
and the corporal's repartees ; and the latter, by degrees assuming 
the usual sway he bore in the circles of the village, contrived, before- 
the viands were on the table, to monopolise the whole conver- 
sation. 



12 EUGENE AEA1I. 

The traveller found in the repast a new excuse for silence. He 
ate with a most prodigious and most contagious appetite ; and in a 
few seconds the knife and fork of the corporal were as busily 
engaged as if he had only three minutes to spare between a march 
and a dinner. 

" This is a pretty retired spot," quoth the traveller, as at length 
he finished his repast, and threw himself back on his chair — " a 
very pretty spot. Whose neat, old-fashioned house was that _ I 
passed on the green, with the gable-ends and the flower-pots in 
front?" 

" Oh, the squire's," answered Peter. " Squire Lester's an ex- 
cellent gentleman." 

" A rich man, I should think, for these parts ; the best house I 
have seen for some miles," said the stranger, carelessly. 

" Rich ! — yes, he's well to do ; he does not live so as not to have 
money to lay by." 

" Any family?" 

" Two daughters and a nephew." 

" And the nephew does not ruin him ? — Happy uncle ! Mine 
was not so lucky !" said the traveller. 

" Sad fellows we soldiers, in our young days ! " observed the 
corporal, with a wink. ". No, Squire Walter 's a good young man, 
a pride to his uncle ! " 

" So," said the pedestrian, " they are not forced to keep up a 
larg-e establishment, and ruin themselves by a retinue of servants ? 
—Corporal, the jug." 

" Nay ! " said Peter, " Squire Lester's gate is always open to the 
poor ; but as for show, he leaves that to my lord at the castle." 

" The castle ! where's that ? " 

" About six miles off; you've heard of my Lord , I '11 

swear." 

'' Ay, to be sure — a courtier. But who else lives about here ! I 
mean, who are the principal persons, barring the corporal and 
yourself— Mr. Eelpry, I think our friend here calls you." 

" Dealtry, Peter Dealtry, sir, is my name. Why, the most 
noticeable man, you must know, is a great scholard, a wonderfully 
learned man ; there, yonder, you may just catch a glimpse of the 
tall what-d'ye-call-it he has built out on the top of his house, that 
he may get nearer to the stars. He has got glasses by which I've 
heard that you may see the people in the moon walking on their 
heads ; but I can't say as I believe all I hear." 

'' You are too sensible for that, I'm sure. But this scholar, I 
suppose, is not very rich : learning does not clothe men nowadays 
— eh, corporal ? " 

" And why should it? Zounds ! can it teach a man how to 
defend his country ? Old England wants soldiers, and be d — d. 
to them ! But the man's well enough, I must own, civil, 
modest " 

" And not by no means a beggar," added Peter ; " he gave as 
■much to the poor last winter as the squire himself." 

" Indeed ! " said the stranger : " this scholar is rich then } " 



EUGENE AKAM. 13 

" So, so ; neither one nor t'other. But if lie were as rich as niy 
lord, he could not be more respected ; the greatest folks in the 
country come in their carringes-and-four to see him. Lord bless 
you ! there is not a name more talked on in the whole county than 
Eugene Aram." 

"What!" cried the traveller, his countenance changing as he 
sprang from his seat; " What! — Aram! — did you say Aram? 
Great God ! how strange ! " 

Peter, not a little startled by the abruptness and vehemence of 
his guest, stared at him with open mouth, and even the corporal 
involuntarily took his pipe from his lips. 

""What!" said the former, " you know him, do you? You've 
heard of him, eh ? " 

" The stranger did not reply ; he seemed lost in a reverie ; he 
muttered inaudible words between his teeth ; now he strode two 
steps forward, clenching his hands ; now smiled grimly ; and then 
leturning to his seat, threw himself on it, still in silence. The 
soldier and the clerk exchanged looks, and now outspake the 
corporal, — 

" Rum tantrums ! What the devil ! did the man eat your 
grandmother?" 

Roused perhaps by so pertinent and sensible a question, the 
stranger lifted his head from his breast, and said, with a forced 
smile, " You have done me, without knowing it, a great kindness, 
my friend. Eugene Aram was an early and intimate acquaintance 
of mine : we have not met for many years. I never guessed that 
he lived in these parts : indeed I did not know where he resided. 
I am truly glad to think I have lighted upon him thus unex- 
pectedly." 

" What ! you did not know where he lived ? Well, I thought 
all the world knew that ! Why, men from the universities have 
come all the way, merely to look at the spot." 

" Yery likely," returned the stranger : " but I am not a learned 
man myself, and what is celebrity in one set is obscurity in 
another. Besides, I have never been in this part of the world 
before ! " 

Peter was about to reply, when he heard the shrill voice of his 
wife behind. 

" Why don't you rise, Mr. Lazyboots? Where are your eyes? 
Don't you see the young ladies ?" 

Dealtry's hat was off in an instant, — the stiff corporal rose like a 
musket ; the stranger would have kept his seat, but Dealtry gave 
him an admonitory tug by the collar ; accordingly he rose, mutter- 
ing a hasty oath, which certainly died on his lips when he saw the 
cause which had thus constrained him into courtesy. 

Through a little gate close by Peter's house, Madeline and her 
sister had just passed on their evening walk, and with the kind 
familiarity for which they were both noted, they had stopped to 
salute the landlady of the " Spotted Dog," as she now, her labours 
done, sat by the threshold, within hearing of the convivial group, 
and plaiting straw. The whole family ot Lester were so beloved, 



I* eui;k.nk ARAM. 

tnai- we question whether my lord himself, as the great nobleman 
of the place was always called (as if there were only one lord in 
the peerage), would have obtained the same degree of respect that 
was always lavished upon them. 

" Don't let us disturb you, good people," said Ellinor, as they 
now moved towards the boon companions ; when her eye suddenly 
falling on the stranger, she stopped short. There was something 
in his appearance, and especially in the expression of his coun- 
tenance at that moment, which no one could have marked for the 
first time without apprehension and distrust ; and it was so 
seldom that, in that .retired spot, the young ladies encountered 
even one unfamiliar face, that the effect the stranger's appearance 
might have produced on any one, might well be increased for them 
to a startling and painful degree. The traveller saw at once the 
sensation he had created; his brow lowered; and the same un- 
pleasant smile, or rather sneer, that we have noted before, distorted 
his lip, as with affected humility he made his obeisance. 

"How! — a stranger !" said Madeline, sharing, though in a less 
degree, the feelings of her sister ; and then, after a pause, she 
said, as she glanced over his garb, " not in distress, I hope i" 

"No, madam!" said the stranger; "if by distress is meant 
beggary. I am in all respects, perhaps, better than I seem." 

There was a general titter from the corporal, my host, and his 
wife, at the traveller's semi-jest at his own unprepossessing ap- 
pearance : but Madeline, a little disconcerted, bowed hastily, and 
drew her sister away. 

" A proud quean ! " said the stranger, as he reseated himself 
and watched the sisters gliding across the green. 

All mouths were opened against him immediately. He found it 
no easy matter to make his peace ; and before he had quite done it, 
he called for his bill, and rose to depart. 

" Well !" said he, as he tendered his hand to the corporal, "we 
may meet again, and enjoy together some more of your good 
stories. Meanwhile, which is my way to this — this — famous 
scholar's?— Ehem!" 

" Why," quoth Peter, " you saw the direction in which the 
young ladies went : you must take the same. Cross the stile you 
will find at the right — wind along the foot of the hill for about 
three parts of a mile, and you will then see in the middle of a 
broad plain a lonely grey house, with a thingumbob at the top ; a 
servatory they call it. That's Master Aram's." 

" Thank you." 

" And a very pretty walk it is too," said the dame " the pret- 
tiest hereabouts to my liking, till you get to the house at least ; 
and so the young ladies think, for it's their usual walk every 
evening ! " 

" Humph, — then I may meet them." 

"Well, and if you do, make yourself look as Christian-like as 
you can," retorted the hostess. 

There was a second grin at the ill-favoured traveller's expense 
amidst which he went his way. 



" An odd chap ! " said Peter, looking after the sturdy form of the 
traveller. " I wonder what he is ; he seems well edicated — makes 
use of good words." 

" What siniiihes," said the corporal, who felt a sort of fellow- 
feeling for his new acquaintance's bluflhess of manner ; " what 
sinnities what he is ? Served his country, — that's enough ; — never 
told me, by the bye, his regiment ; — set me a-talking, and let out 
nothing liimself ; — old soldier every inch of him ! " 

' He can take care of number one," said Peter. " How he emp- 
tied the jug ! and, my stars ! what an appetite ! " 

" Tush," said the corporal, " hold jaw. Man of the world — man 
of the world, — that's clear." 



CHAPTER III. 

A DIALOGUE AND AN AL.VKM.— A STUDENT'S HOUSE. 



A fellow by the hand of Nature marked, 
Quoted, and signed, to do a deed of shame. 

Shakspeare: " King John." 

* * * * 

Me is a scholar, if a man may trust 
The liberal voice of Fame, in her report. 

* * * * 

Myself was once a student, and indeed 
Fed with the self-same humour he is now. 

Ben Jonson • " Every Man in his Humour." 



The two sisters pursued their walk along a scene which might 
well be favoured by their selection. No sooner had they crossed 
the stile, than the village seemed vanished into earth ; so quiet, so 
lonely, so far from the evidence of life was the landscape through 
which they passed. On their right sloped a green and silent hill, 
shutting out all view beyond itself, save the deepening and twi- 
light sky ; to the left, and immediately along their road, lay frag- 
ments of stone, covered with moss, or shadowed by wild shrubs, 
that here and there gathered into copses, or breaking abruptly 
away from the rich sod, left frequent spaces through which you 
caught long vistas of forest-land, or the brooklet gliding in a noisy 
and rocky course, and breaking into a thousand tiny waterfalls or 
mimic eddies. So secluded was the scene, and so unwitnessing of 
cultivation, that you would not have believed that a human habita- 
tion coidd be at hand, and this air of perfect solitude and quiet 
gave an additional charm to the spot. 

" But I assure you," said Ellinor, earnestly continuing a con- 
versation they had begun, "I assure you I was not mistaken: 1 
saw it as plainly as I see you." 

" What, in the breast-pocket r " 

"Yes; as he drew out his handkerchief, I saw the barrel of the 
pistol quite distinctly." 



16 EUGENE AKAM. 

" Indeed ! I think we had better tell my father as soon as we 
get home ; it may be as well to be on onr guard : though robbery, 
I believe, has not been heard of in Grassdale for these twenty 
years." 

" Yet for what purpose, save that of evil, could he, in these 
peaceable times and this peaceable country, carry fire-arms about 
him ? And what a countenance ! Did you note the shy and yet 
ferocious eye, like that of some animal that longs, yet fears to 
spring upon you ? " 

" Upon my word, Ellinor," said Madeline, smiling, " you ire not 
very merciful to strangers. After all, the man might have pro- 
vided himself with the pistol which you saw as a natural precau- 
tion ; reflect that, as a stranger, he may well not know how safe 
this district usually is, and he may have come from London, in 
the neighbourhood of which they say robberies have been frequent 
of late. As to his looks, they are, I own, unpardonable ; for so 
much ugliness there can be no excuse. Had the man been as 
handsome as our cousin Walter, you would not, perhaps, have been 
so uncharitable in your fears at the pistol." 

" Nonsense, Madeline," said Ellinor, blushing and turning away 
her face : there was a moment's pause, which the younger sister 
broke. 

" We do not seem," said she, " to make much progress in the 
friendship of our singular neighbour. I never knew my father 
court any one so much as he has courted Mr. Aram, and yet you 
see how seldom he calls upon us, — nay, I often think that he seeks 
to shun us ; no great compliment to our attractions, Madeline ! " 

" I regret his want of sociability, for his own sake," said Made- 
line ; "for he seems melancholy as well as thoughtful ; and he 
leads so secluded a life, that I cannot but think my father's con- 
versation and society, if he would but encourage it, might afford 
some relief to his solitude." 

" And he always seems," observed Ellinor, " to take pleasure in 
my father's conversation, — as who would not ? How his counte- 
nance lights up when he converses ! it is a pleasure to watch it. I 
think him positively handsome when he speaks." 

" Oh, more than handsome ! " said Madeline, with enthusiasm ; 
" with that high pale brow, and those deep, unfathomable eyes." 

Ellinor smiled, and it was now Madeline's turn to blush. 

" Well," said the former, " there is something about him that 
fills one with an indescribable interest ; and his manner, if cold at 
times, is yet always so gentle." 

" And to hear him converse," said Madeline, " it is like music. 
His thoughts, his very words, seem so different from the language 
and ideas of others. What a pity that he should ever be silent ! ' 

" There is one peculiarity about his gloom, it never inspires one 
with distrust," said Ellinor ; " if I had observed him in the same 
circumstances as that ill-omened traveller, I should have had no 
apprehension." 

" Ah ! that traveller still runs in your head. If we were to meet 
him on this spot ! " 



KUGKNE ARAM. 17 

" Heaven forbid '." cried Ellinor, turning hastily round in alarm, 
— and, lo ! as if her sister had been a prophet, she saw the very 
person in question at some little distance behind them, and walk- 
ing on with rapid strides. 

She uttered a faint shriek of surprise and terror, and Madeline, 
looking back at the sound, immediately participated in her alarm. 
The spot looked so desolate and lonely, and the imagination of both 
iiad been already so worked upon by Ellinor's fears, and their con- 
jectures respecting the ill-boding weapon she had witnessed, that 
a thousand apprehensions of outrage and murder crowded at once 
upon the minds of the two sisters. Without, however, giving vent 
in words to their alarm, they quickened their pace involuntarily, 
every moment stealing a glance behind, to watch the progress of 
the suspected robber. They thought that he also seemed to accele- 
rate his movements ; and this observation increased their terror, 
and would appear, indeed, to give it some more rational ground. 
At length, as by a sudden turn of the road, they lost sight of this 
dreaded stranger, their alarm suggested to them but one resolution, 
and they fairly fled on as fast as the fear which actuated would 
allow them. The nearest, and indeed the only house in that direc- 
tion, was Aram's ; but they both imagined if they could come 
within sight of that, they should be safe. They looked back at 
every interval ; now they did not see their fancied pursuer — now 
he emerged again into view — now — yes— he also was running. 
" Faster — faster, Madeline, for God's sake ! he is gaining upon us ! " 
cried Ellinor. The path grew more wild, and the trees more thick 
and frequent ; at every cluster that marked their progress, they 
saw the stranger closer and closer ; at length a sudden break — a 
sudden turn in the landscape, — a broad plain burst upon them, 
and in the midst of it the student's solitary abode ! 

" Thank Heaven we are safe ! " cried Madeline. She turned once 
more to look for the stranger ; in so doing her foot struck against a 
fragment of stone, and she fell with great violence to the ground. She 
endeavoured to rise, but found herself, at first, unable to stir from 
the spot. In this state, however, she looked back, and saw the 
traveller at some little distance. But he also halted, and, after a 
moment's seeming deliberation, turned aside, and was lost among 
the bushes. 

With great difficulty Ellinor now assisted Madeline to rise ; her 
ancle was violently sprained, and she could not put her foot to the 
ground ; but though she had evinced so much dread at the appa- 
rition of the stranger, she now testified an almost equal degree of 
fortitude in bearing pain. " I am not much hurt, Ellinor." she 
said, faintly smiling, to encourage her sister, who supported her in 
speechless alarm : " but what is to be done ? I cannot use this 
foot. How shall we get home ? " 

" But are you sure you are not much hurt ?" said poor Ellinor, 
almost crying ; " lean on me — heavier — pray ! Only try and reach 
the house, and we can then stay there till Mr. Aram sends home 
for the carriage." 

" But what will he think? how strange it will seem!" said 

c 



IB EUGEXE AEAM. 

Madeline, the colour once more visiting her cheek, which a moment 
since had been blanched as pale as death. 

" Is this a time for scruples and ceremony ! " said Ellinor. 
' Come ! I entreat you, come ; if you linger thus, the man may 
take courage and attack us yet. There ! that's right ! Is the pain 
very great?" 

" I do not mind the pain," imirniured Madeline ; " but if he 
should think we intrude ? His habits are so reserved — so secluded ; 
indeed I fear " 

" Intrude ! " interrupted Ellinor. " Do you think so ill of him ? 
— Do you suppose that, hermit as he is, he has lost common 
humanity ? But lean more on me, dearest ; you do not know how 
strong I am ! " 

Thus alternately chiding, caressing, and encouraging her sister, 
Ellinor led on the sufferer, till they had crossed the plain, though 
with slowness and labour, and stood before the porch of the recluse's 
house. They had looked back from time to time, but the cause of 
so much alarm appeared no more. This they deemed a sufficient 
evidenoe of the justice of their apprehensions. 

Madeline even now would fain have detained her sister's hand 
from the bell that hung without the porch half embedded in ivy ; 
but Ellinor, out of patience — as she well might be — with her sister's 
unseasonable prudery, refused any longer delay. So singularly 
still and solitary was the plain around the house, that the sound 
of the bell breaking the silence had in it something startling, and 
appeared, in its sudden and shrill voice, a profanation of the deep 
tranquillity of the spot. They did not wait long — a step was heard 
within — the door was slowly unbarred, and the student himself 
stood before them. 

He was a man who might, perhaps, have numbered some five and 
thirty vears ; but, at a hasty glance, he would have seemed con- 
siderably younger. He was above the ordinary stature ; though a 
gentle, and not ungraceful bend in the neck, rather than the 
shoulders, somewhat curtailed his proper advantages of height. 
His frame was thin and slender, but well knit and fair propor- 
tioned. Nature had originally cast his form in an athletic mould; 
but sedentary habits, and the wear of mind, seemed somewhat 
to have impaired her gifts. His cheek was pale and delicate ; 
yet it was rather the delicacy of thought than of weak health. 
His hair, which was long, and of a rich and deep brown, was thrown 
back from his face and temples, and left a broad, high, majestic 
forehead, utterly unrelieved and bare ; and on the brow there was 
not a single wrinkle ; it was as smooth as it might have been some 
fifteen years ago. There was a singular calmness, and, so to speak, 
profundity of thought, eloquent upon its clear expanse, which sug- 
gested the idea of one who had passed his life rather in contempla- 
tion than emotion. It was a face that a physiognomist would have 
loved to look upon, so much did it speak both of the refinement 
and the dignity of intellect. 

Suoh was the person — if pictures convey a faithful resemblance 
— of a man, certainly among the most eminent in Ms day for 



ki(;i:m: auiji. S3 

various and profound learning, and especially for a genius wholly 
self-taught, yet never contented to repose upon the wonderful stores 
it had laboriously accumulated. 

He now stood before the two girls, silent, and evidently sur- 
prised ; and it would have been no unworthy subject for a picture 
— that ivied porch— that still spot— Madeline's reclining and sub- 
dued form and downcast eyes — the eager face of Ellinor, about to 
narrate the nature and cause of their intrusion — and the pale 
student himself, thus suddenly aroused from his solitary medi- 
tations, and converted into the protector of beauty. 

No sooner did Aram learn from Ellinor the outline of their story, 
and Madeline's accident, than his countenance and manner testified 
the liveliest and most eager interest. Madeline was inexpressibly 
touched and surprised at the kindly and respectful earnestness 
with which this recluse scholar, usually so cold and abstracted in 
mood, assisted and led her into the house : the sympathy he 
expressed for her pain — the sincerity of his tone — the compassion 
of his eyes — and as those dark, and, to use her own thought, 
unfathomable orbs, bent admiringly and yet so gently upon her, 
Madeline, even in spite of her pain, felt an indescribable, a deli- 
cious thrill at her heart, which in the presence of no one else had 
she ever experienced before. 

Aram now summoned the only domestic his house possessed, who 
appeared in the form of an old woman, whom he seemed to have 
selected from the whole neighbourhood as the person most in keep- 
ing with the rigid seclusion he preserved. She was exceedingly 
deaf, and was a proverb in the village for her extreme taciturnity. 
Poor old Margaret ! she was a widow, and had lost ten children by 
early deaths. There was a time when ber gaiety had been as 
noticeable as her reserve was now. In spite of her infirmity, she 
was not slow in comprehending the accident Madeline had met 
with ; and she busied herself with a promptness which showed that 
her misfortunes had not deadened her natural kindness of dis- 
position, in preparing fomentations and bandages for the wounded 
loot. 

Meanwhile Aram undertook to seek the manor-house, and bring 
back the old family coach, which had dozed inactively in its 
shelter foe the last six months, to convey the sufferer home. 

" iSo, Mr. Aram," said Madeline, colouring ; " pray do not go 
yourself; consider, the man may still be loitering on the road. 
He is armed : good heavens ! if he should meet you ! " 

"Fear not, madam," said Aram, with a faint smile. "J also 
keep arms, even in this obscure and safe retreat ; and to satisfy 
you, I will not neglect to carry them with me." 

As he spoke, he took from the wainscot, where they hung, a 
brace of large horse pistols, slung them round him by a leather 
belt, and flinging over his person, to conceal weapons so alarming 
to any less dangerous passenger he might encounter, the long 
cloak then usually worn in inclement seasons, as an outer garment, 
he turned to depart. 

" But are thev loaded ? " asked Ellinor 



2d ETJGE.NF. AKAM. 

Aram answered briefly in the affirmative. It was somewhat 
singular, hut the sisters did not then remark it, that a man so 
peaceable in his pursuits, and seemingly possessed of no valuables 
that could tempt cupidity, should in that spot, where crime was 
never heard of, use such habitual precaution. 

When the door closed upon him, and while the old woman 
relieved the anguish of the sprain with a light hand and soothing 
lotions, which she had shown some skill in preparing, Madeline 
cast glances of interest and curiosity around the apartment into 
which she had had the rare good fortune to obtain admittance. 

The house had belonged to a family of some note, whose heirs 
had outstripped their fortunes. It had been long deserted and 
uninhabited ; and when Aram settled in those parts, the proprietor 
was too glad to get rid of the incumbrance of an empty house, at a 
nominal rent. The solitude of the place had been the main attrac- 
tion to Aram ; and as he possessed what would be considered 
a very extensive assortment of books, even for a library of these 
days, he required a larger apartment than he would have been 
able to obtain in an abode more compact and more suitable to 
his fortunes and mode of living. 

The room in which the sisters now found themselves was the 
most spacious in the house, and was indeed of considerable dimen- 
sions. It contained in front one large window, jutting from the 
wall. Opposite was an antique and high mantlepiece of black oak. 
The rest of the room was walled from the floor to the roof with 
books ; volumes of all languages, and it might even be said, with- 
out much exaggeration, upon all sciences, were strewed around, on 
the chairs, the tables, or the floor. By the window stood the 
student's desk, and a large old-fashioned oak chair. A few papers. 
rilled with astronomical calculations, lay on the desk, and these 
were all the witnesses of the result of study. Indeed, Aram does 
not appear to have been a man much inclined to reproduce the 
learning he acquired; what he wrote was in very small pro 
portion to what he had read. 

So high and grave was the scholar's reputation, that the retreat 
and sanctum of so many learned hours would have been interesting, 
even to one who could not appreciate learning ; but to Madeline, 
with her peculiar disposition and traits of mind, we may readily 
conceive that the room presented a powerful, and pleasing charm. 
As the elder sister looked round in silence, Ellinor attempted to 
draw the old woman into conversation. She would fain have 
'■licited some particulars of the habits and daily life of the recluse; 
i ut the deafness of their attendant was so obstinate and hopeless, 
that she was forced to give up the attempt in despair. "I fear," 
said she at last, her good nature so far overcome by impatience as 
not to forbid a slight yawn ; "I fear we shall have a dull time of it 
till my father arrives. Just consider, the fat black mares, never 
too fast, can only creep along that broken path, — for road there is 
none : it will be quite night before the coach arrives." 

"lam sorry, dear Ellinor, my awkwardness should occasion you 
bo stupid an evening," answered Madeline. 



EUQEVK ARAM. 2i 

' Oh," cried Ellinor, throwing her arms around her sister's neck, 
*' it is not for myself I spoke ; and, indeed, I am delighted to think 
we have got into this wizard's den, and seen the instruments of his 
art. But I do so trust Mr. Aram will not meet that terrible man." 

" Nay," said the prouder Madeline, " he is armed, and it is biit 
one man. I feel too high a respect for him to allow myself much 
fear." 

" But these bookmen are not often heroes," remarked Ellinor, 
laughing. 

" For shame," said Madeline, the colour mounting to her fore- 
head. " Do you not remember how, last summer, Eugene Aram 
rescued Dame Grenfield's child from the bull, though at the literal 
peril of his own life ? And who but Eugene Aram, when the floods 
in the year before swept along the low lands by Eairleigh, went 
day after day to rescue the persons, or even to save the goods of 
those poor people ; ai a time, too, when the boldest villagers 
would not hazard themselves across the waters ? But bless me 
Ellinor, what is the matter? you turn pale — you tremble." 

" Hush ! " said Ellinor under her breath, and, putting her finger 
to her mouth, she rose and stole lightly to the window ; she had 
observed the figure of a man pass by, and now, as she gained the 
window, she saw him halt by the porch, and recognised the for- 
midable stranger. Presently the bell sounded, and the old woman, 
familiar with its shrill sound, rose from her kneeling position 
beside the sufferer to attend to the summons. Ellinor sprang 
forward and detained her : the poor old woman stared at her in 
amazement, wholly unable to comprehend her abrupt gestures and 
her rapid language. It was with considerable difficulty, and after 
repeated efforts, that she at length impressed the dulled sense of the 
crone with the nature of their alarm, and the expediency of refus- 
ing admittance to the stranger. Meanwhile, the bell had rung 
again — again, and the third time, with a prolonged violence which 
testified the impatience of the applicant. As soon as the good 
dame had satisfied herself as to Ellinor's meaning, she could no 
longer be accused of unreasonable taciturnity ; she wrung her 
hands, and poured forth a volley of lamentations and fears, which 
effectually relieved Ellinor from the dread of her unheeding the 
admonition. Satisfied at having done thus much, Ellinor now 
herself hastened to the door, and secured the ingress with an addi- 
tional bolt, and then, as the thought flashed upon her, returned tc 
the old woman, and made her, with an easier effort than before, 
now that her senses were sharpened by fear, comprehend the neces- 
sity of securing the back entrance also : both hastened away to 
effect this precaution, and Madeline, who herself desired Ellinor to 
accompany the old woman, was left alone. She kept her eyes fixed 
on the window with a strange sentiment of dread at being thus 
left in so helpless a situation ; and though a door of no ordinary 
dimensions, and doubly locked, interposed between herself and the 
intruder, she expected, in breathless terroi, every instant, to see 
the form of the ruffian burst into the apartment. As she thus sat 
and looked, she shudderingly saw the man, tired perhaps of repeat 



2 Z VUCK.VE A HA 31. 

ing a summons so ineffectual, come to die window and look 
pryingly within : their eyes met ; Madeline had not the power to 
shriek. Would he break through the window ? that was her only 
idea, and it deprived her of words, almost of sense. He gazed upon 
her evident terror for a moment with a grim smile of contempt : ha 
then knocked at the window, and his voice broke harshly on a 
silence yet more dreadful than the interruption. 

" Ho, ho ! so there is some life stirring? I beg pardon, madam, 
is Mr. Aram — Eugene Aram, within ? " 

" No," said Madeline, faintly ; and then, sensible that her voice 
did not reach him, she reiterated the answer in a louder tone. 
The man, as if satisfied, made a rude inclination of his head, and 
withdrew from the window. Ellinor now returned, and with diffi- 
culty Madeline found words to explain to her what had passed. 
It will be conceived that the two young ladies waited for the 
arrival of their father with no lukewarm expectation ; the stranger, 
however, appeared no more ; and in about an hour, to their inex- 
pressible joy, they heard the rumbling sound of the old coach as it 
rolled towards the house. This time there was no delay in unbar- 
ring the door. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE SOLILOQUY, AND THE CHARACTER, OF A RECLUSE — THE 
INTERRUPTION. 



Or let my lamp at midnight hour 
Be seen in some high lonely tower, 
Where I may oft outwatch the Bear, 
Or thrice great Hermes, and unsphere 
The spirit of Plato. — Milton: II Penseroso. 



As Aram assisted the beautiful Madeline into the carriage — as 
he listened to her sweet voice — as he marked the grateful expres- 
sion of her soft eyes — as he felt the slight yet warm pressure of her 
fairy hand, that vague sensation of delight which preludes love, for 
the first time in his sterile and solitary life, agitated his breast. 
Lester held out his hand to him with a frank cordiality which the 
scholar could not resist. 

" Do not let us be strangers, Mr. Aram," said he, warmly. " It 
is not often that I press for companionship out of my own circle ; 
but in your company I should find pleasure as well as instruction. 
Let us break the ice boldly, and at once. Come and dine with me 
to-morrow, and Ellinor shall sing to us in the evening." 

The excuse died upon Aram's lips. Another glance at Madeline 
conquered the remains of his reserve : he accepted the invitation, 
and he could not but mark, with an unfamiliar emotion of the 
heart, that the eyes of Madeline sparkled as he did so. 

With an abstracted air, and arms folded across his breast, he 



V.UOKNE AltAM. -J 

gazed after the carriage till thewinding of the valley snatched it 
from his view. He then, waking from his reverie with, a start, 
turned into the house, and carefully closing and barring the door, 
mounted with slow steps to the lofty chamber with which, the 
better to indulge his astronomical researches, he had crested his 
lonely abode. 

It was now night. The heavens broadened round him in all the 
loving yet august tranquillity of the season and the hour ; the stars 
bathed the living atmosphere with a solemn light ; and above — 
about — around — 

" The holy time was quiet as a nun, 
Breathless with adoration." 

He looked forth upon the deep and ineffable stillness of the night, 
and indulged the reflections that it suggested. 

" Ye mystic lights," said he, soliloquising : " worlds upon worlds 
— infinite — incalculable. Bright defiers of rest and change, rolling 
for ever above our petty sea of mortality, as, wave after wave, we 
fret forth our little life, and sink into the black abyss ; — can we 
look upon you, note your appointed order, and your unvarying 
courses, and not feel that we are, indeed, the poorest puppets of an 
all-pervading and resistless destiny? Shall we see throughout 
creation each marvel fulfilling its pre-ordered fate — no wandering 
from its orbit — no variation in its seasons — and yet imagine that 
the Arch-ordainer will hold back the tides He has sent from their 
unseen source, at our miserable bidding ? Shall we think that our 
prayers can avert a doom woven with the skein of events? To 
change a particle of our fate, might change the destiny of millions ! 
Shall the link forsake the chain, and yet the chain be unbroken ? 
Away, then, with our vague repinings, and our blind demands. 
All must walk onward to their goal ; be he the wisest who looks not 
one step behind. The colours of our existence were doomed before 
pur birth — our sorrows and our crimes ; millions of ages back, when 
this hoary earth was peopled by other kinds, yea, ere its atoms had 
formed one layer of its present soil, the eternal and all-seeing Ruler 
of the universe. Destiny or God, had here fixed the moment of our 
birth and the limits of our career. What, then, is crime ? — Fate ! 
What life ? — Submission ! " 

Such were the strange and dark thoughts which, too familiar to 
his musings, now obtruded their mournful dogmas on his mind. 
He sought a fairer subject for meditation, and Madeline Lester rose 
before him. 

Eugene Aram was a man whose whole life seemed to have been 
one sacrifice to knowledge. What is termed pleasure had no 
attraction for him. From the mature manhood at which he had 
jirrived, he looked back along his youth, and recognised no youth- 
ful folly. Love he had hitherto regarded with a cold though not 
an incurious eye : intemperance had never lured him to a mo- 
mentary self-abandonment. Even the innocent relaxations with 
which the austerest minds relieve their accustomed toils, had had no 
power to draw him from his beloved researches. The delight mon- 



24 EUGENE Aii\31. 

strari digito, the gratification of triumphant wisdom, the -whispers 
of an elevated vanity, existed not for his self-dependent and soli- 
tary heart. He was one of those earnest and high-wrought en- 
thusiasts who now are almost extinct upon earth, and whom Romance 
has not hitherto attempted to portray ; men not uncommon in the 
last century, who were devoted to knowledge, yet disdainful of its. 
fame ; who lived for nothing else than to learn. From store to 
store, from treasure to treasure, they proceeded in exulting labour, 
and having accumulated all, they bestowed naught ; they were the 
arch-misers of the wealth of letters. Y\ r rapped in obscurity, in some 
sheltered nook, remote from the great stir of men, they passed a 
life at once unprofitable and glorious ; the least part of what they 
ransacked would appal the industry of a modern student, yet the 
most superficial of modern students might effect more for mankind. 
They lived among oracles, but they gave none forth. And yet, 
even in this very barrenness, there seems nothing high ; it was a 
rare and great spectacle — men, living aloof from the roar and strife 
of the passions that raged below, devoting themselves to the know- 
ledge which is our purification and our immortality on earth, and 
yet deaf and blind to the allurements of the vanity which generally 
accompanies research ; refusing the ignorant homage of their kind, 
making their sublime motive their only meed, adoring Wisdom for 
her sole sake, and set apart in the populous universe, like those 
remoter stars which interchange no light with earth — gild not our 
darkness, and colour not our air. 

From his youth to the present period, Aram had dwelt little in 
cities, though he had visited many, yet be could scarcely be called 
ignorant of mankind ; there seems something intuitive in the 
science which teaches us the knowledge of our race. Some men 
emerge from their seclusion, and find, all at once, a power to dart 
into the minds and drag forth the motives of those they see ; it is 
a sort of second sight, born with them, not acquired. And Aram, 
it may be, rendered yet more acute by his profound and habitual 
investigations of our metaphysical frame, never quitted his solitude 
to mix with others without penetrating into the broad traits or 

Erevalent infirmities their characters possessed. In this, indeed, 
e differed from the scholar tribe, and even in abstraction was 
mechanically vigilant and observant. Much in his nature, had 
early circumstances given it a different bias, would have fitted him 
for worldly superiority and command. A resistless energy, an 
unbroken perseverance, a profound, and scheming, and subtle 
thought, a genius fertile in resources, a tongue clothed with 
eloquence — all, had his ambition so chosen, might have given him 
the same empire over the physical, that he had now attained over 
the intellectual world. It could not be said _ that Aram wanted 
benevolence, but it was dashed and mixed with a certain scorn : 
the benevolence was the offspring of his nature ; the scorn seemed 
the result of his pursuits. He would feed the birds from his- 
window, he would tread aside to avoid the worm on his path ; were 
one of his own tribe in danger, he would save him at the hazard of 
his life : — yet in his heart he despised men, and believed them 



EUGEXE ARAii. 25 

beyond amelioration. Unlike the present race of schoolmen, 'who 
incline to the consoling hope of human perfectibility, he saw in the 
gloomy past but a dark prophecy of the future. As Napoleon wept 
over one wounded soldier in the field of battle, yet ordered, without 
emotion, thousands to a certain death ; so Aram would have sacri- 
ficed himself for an individual, but would not have sacrificed a 
momentary gratification for his race. And this sentiment towards- 
men, at once of high disdain and profound despondency, was per- 
haps the cause why he rioted in indolence upon his extraordinary 
mental wealth, and could not be persuaded either to dazzle the 
world or to serve it. But by little and little his fame had broke 
forth from the limits with which he would have walled it : a man 
who had taught himself, under singular difficulties, nearly all the 
languages of the civilized earth ; the profound mathematician, the 
elaborate antiquarian, the abstruse philologist, uniting with his 
graver lore the more florid accomplishments of science, from the 
scholastic trifling of heraldry to the gentle learning of herbs and 
flowers, could scarcely hope for utter obscurity in that day when 
all intellectual acquirement was held in high honour, and its pos- 
sessors were drawn together into a sort of brotherhood by the 
fellowship of their pursuits. And though Aram gave little or 
nothing to the world himself, he was ever willing to communicate 
to others any benefit or honour derivable from his researches. On 
the altar of science he kindled no light, but the fragrant oil in the 
lamps of his more pious bretheren was largely borrowed from his 
stores. From almost everv college in Europe came to his obscure 
abode letters of acknowledgment or inquiry ; and few foreign cul- 
tivators of learning visited this country without seeking an inter- 
■\iew with Aram. He received them with all the modesty and the 
courtesy that characterised his demeanour ; but it was noticeable 
that he never allowed these interruptions to be more than tempo- 
rary. He proffered no hospitality, and shrunk back from all offers- 
of friendship ; the interview lasted its hour, and was seldom re- 
newed. Patronage was not less distasteful to him than sociality. 
Some occasional visits and condescensions of the great he had 
received with a stern haughtiness, rather than his habitual subdued 
urbanity. The precise amount of his fortune was not known ; his 
wants were so few, that what would have been poverty to others 
might easily have been competence to him ; and the only evidence 
he manifested of the command of money, was in his extended and 
various library. 

He had been now about two years settled in his present retreat. 
Unsocial as he was, every one in the neighbourhood loved him ; 
even the reserve of a man so eminent, arising as it was supposed 
to do from a painful modesty, had in it something winning ; and 
he had been known to evince, on great occasions, a charity and a 
courage in the service of others, which removed from the seclusion 
of his habits the semblance of misanthropy and of avarice. The 
peasant threw kindly pity into his respectful greeting, as in his 
nomeward walk he encountered the pale and thoughtful student, 
with the folded arms and downcast eyes which characterised the 



KUUJvNE AUAM. 



abstraction of his mood; and the village maiden, as she courtseyed 
by him, stole a glance at his handsome but melancholy counte- 
nance ; and told her sweetheart she was certain the poor scholar had 
been crossed in love ! 

And thus passed the student's life ; perhaps its monotony and 
dulness required less compassion than they received : no man can 
judge of the happiness of another. As the moon plays upon the 
waves, and seems to our eyes to favour with a peculiar beam one 
long tract amidst the waters, leaving the rest in comparative 
obscurity ; yet all the while she is no niggard in her lustre— for 
though the rays that meet not our eyes seem to us as though they 
were not, yet she, with an equal and unfavouring loveliness, 
mirrors herself on every wave : — even so, perhaps, happiness falls 
with the same brightness and power over the whole expanse of 
life, though to our limited eyes it seems only to rest on those 
billows from which the ray is reflected on our sight. 

From his contemplations, of whatsoever nature, Aram was now 
aroused by a loud summons at the door ; — the clock had gone 
eleven. Who, at that late hour, when the whole village was buried 
in sleep, could demand admittance ? He recollected that Madeline 
had said the stranger who had so alarmed them had inquired 
for him; at that recollection his cheek suddenly blanched, but 
again, that stranger was surely only some poor traveller who had 
heard of his wonted charity, and had called to solicit relief ; for 
he had not met the stranger on the road to Lester's house, and he 
had naturally set down the apprehensions of his fair visitants to 
mere female timidity. "Who could this be ? No humble way- 
farer would at that hour crave assistance ; — some disaster, perhaps, 
in the village ? From his lofty chamber he looked forth and saw 
the stars watch quietly over the scattered cottages and the dark 
foliage that slept breathlessly around. All was still as death, but 
it seemed the stillness of innocence and security : again ! the bell 
again ! He though, the heard his name shouted without ; he strode 
once or twice irresolutely to and fro the chamber; and then his 
step grew firm, and his native courage returned. His pistols were 
still girded round him ; he looked to the priming, and muttered 
some incoherent words ; he then descended the stairs, and slowly 
unbarred the door. Without the porch, the moonlight full upon 
his harsh features and sturdy frame, stood the ill-omened tra- 
veller 



FCGK.NE A1UI1. 



CHAPTER V 

A DINNER AT THE SQUIRE'S HALL.— A CONVERSATION BETWEKS 
TWO EET1EED MEN WITH DIFFERENT OBJECTS IN RETIREMENT 
—DISTURBANCE FIRST INTRODUCED INTO A PEACEFUL FAMILY. 



Can lie not be sociable ? — Troilus and Cressida. 

Subit quippe etiam ipsius inertire dulcedo ; et invisa ^rirnd dcsidia postremo 
aniatur. * — Tacitus. 

How use doth breed a habit in a man ! 

This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods, 

I better brook than nourishing peopled towns. — Winter's Tale. 



The next clav, faithful to his appointment, Aram arrived at 
Lester's. The good squire received him with a warm cordiality, 
and Madeline with a blush and a smile that ought to have been 
more grateful to him than acknowledgements. She was still a 
prisoner to the sofa, but in compliment to Aram, the sofa was 
wheeled into the hall where they dined, so that she was not 
absent from the repast. It was a pleasant room, that old hall ! 
Though it was summer, more for cheerfulness than warmth, the 
log burnt on the spacious hearth ; but at the same time the latticed 
windows were thrown open, and the fresh yet sunny air stole in, 
rich from the embrace of the woodbine and clematis, which clung 
around the casement. 

A few old pictures were panelled in the open wainscot ; and 
here and there the horns of the mighty stag adorned the walls, 
and united with the eheeriness of comfort associations of that 
of enterprise. The good old board was crowded with the luxuries 
meet for a country squire. The speckled trout, fresh from the 
stream, and the four-year-old mutton modestly disclaiming its 
own excellent merits, by affecting the shape and assuming the 
adjuncts of venison. Then for the confectionery, — it was worthy 
of Ellinor, to whom that department generally fell ; and we should 
scarcely be surprised to find, though we venture not to affirm, that 
-'.s delicate fabrication owed more to her than superintendence. 
Then the ale, and the cider with rosemary in the bowl, were in- 
comparable potations : and to the gooseberry wine, which would 
have tilled Mrs. Primrose with envy, was added the more generous 
warmth of port, which, in the squire's younger days, had been 
the talk of the country, and which had now lost none of its attri- 
butes, save "the original brightness" of its colour. 

But (the wine excepted) these various dainties met with slight 

* Forasmuch as the very sweetness of idleness stealthily introduces itself into 
the mind, and the sluth, which was at first hateful, becomes at length beloved. 



2S EUGSM AKAM 

honour from their abstemious guest ; and, — for though habitually 
reserved, he was rarely gloomy,— they remarked that he seemed 
unusually fitful and sombre in his mood. Something appeared to 
rest upon his mind, from which, by the excitement of wine and 
occasional bursts of eloquence more animated than ordinary, he 
seemed striving to escape ; and at length he apparently succeeded. 
.Naturally enough, the conversation turned upon the curiosities 
and scenery of the country around ; and here Aram shone with a 
peculiar grace. Vividly alive to the influences of nature, and 
minutely acquainted with its varieties, he invested every hill 
and glade to which remark recurred with the poetry of his descrip- 
tions ; and from his research he gave even scenes the most familiat 
a charm and interest which had been strange to them till then. 
To this stream some romantic legend had once attached itself, 
long forgotten and now revived ; — that moor, so barren to an 
ordinary eye, was yet productive of some rare and curious herb, 
whose properties afforded scope for lively description ; — that old 
mound was yet rife in attraction to one versed in antiquities, and 
able to explain its origin, and from such explanation deduce a 
thousand classic or Celtic episodes. 

No subject was so homely or so trite, but the knowledge that had 
neglected nothing was able to render it luminous and new. And 
as he spoke, the scholar's countenance brightened, and his voice, at 
first hesitating and low, compelled the attention to its earnest and 
winning music. Lester himself, a man who, in his long retirement, 
had not forgotten the attractions of intellectual society, nor even 
neglected a certain cultivation of intellectual pursuits, enjoyed a 
pleasure that he had not experienced for years. The gay Ellinor 
was fascinated into admiration ; and Madeline, the most silent of 
the group, drank in every word, unconscious of the sweet poison 
she imbibed. Walter alone seemed not carried away by the 
eloquence of their guest. He preserved an unadmiring and sullen 
demeanour, and every now and then regarded Aram with looks of 
suspicion and dislike. This was more remarkable when the men 
were left alone ; and Lester, in surprise and anger, darted signifi- 
cant and admonitory glances towards his nephew, which at length 
seemed to rouse him into a more hospitable bearing. As the cool 
of the evening now came on, Lester proposed to Aram to enjoy it 
without, previous to returning to the parlour, to which the ladies 
had retired. Walter excused himself from joining them. The 
host and the guest accordingly strolled forth alone. 

" Your solitude," said Lester, smiling, "is far deeper and less 
broken than mine : do you never find it irksome ? " 

" Can humanity be at all times contented » " said Aram. " No 
stream, howsoever secret or subterranean, glides on in eternal tran- 
quillity." 

"You allow, then, that you feel some occasional desire for a more 
active and animated life J " 

Nay," answered Aram ; " that is scarcely a fair corollary from 
my remark. I may, at times, feel the weariness of existence — the 
tedium vitce but I know well that the cause is not to he remedied 



EOGKNII AltAM. 29 

fey a change from tranquillity to agitation. The objects of the 
irreit world are to be pursued only by the excitement of the pas- 
sions. The passions are at once our masters and our deceivers ; — 
they urge us onward, yet present no limit to our progress. The 
farther we proceed, the more dim and shadowy grows the goal. It 
is impossible for a man who leads the life of the world, the life of 
the passions, ever to experience content. For the life of the pas- 
sions is that of a perpetual desire ; but a state of content is the 
absence of all desire. Thus philosophy has become another name 
for mental quietude ; and all wisdom points to a life of intellectual 
indifference, as the happiest which earth can bestow." 

'' This may be true enough," said Lester, reluctantly, "but " 

"But what?" 

" A something at our hearts — a secret voice — an involuntary 
impulse — rebels against it, and points to action — action, as the true 
sphere of man." 

A slight smile curved the lip of the student : he avoided, how- 
ever, the argument, and remarked, — 

" Yet, if you think so, the world lies before you : why not return 
to it?" 

"Because constant habit is stronger than occasional impulse; 
and my seclusion, after all, has its sphere of action — has its object." 

" All seclusion has." 

" All ? Scarcely so ; for me, I have my object of interest in my 
children." 

" And mine is in my books." 

" And engaged in your object, does not the whisper of Fame ever 
animate you with the desire to go forth into the world, and receive 
the homage that would await you? " 

"Listen to me," replied Aram. "When I was a boy, I went 
once to a theatre. The tragedy of 'Hamlet' was performed ; a play 
full of the noblest thoughts, the subtlest morality. The audience 
listened with attention, with admiration, with applause. I said to 
myself, when the curtain fell, ' It must be a glorious thing to obtain 
this empire over men's intellects and emotions.' But now an 
Italian mountebank appeared on the stage, — a man of extraor- 
dinary personal strength and sleight of hand. He performed a 
variety of juggling tricks, and distorted his body into a thousand 
surprising and unnatural postures. The audience were trans- 
ported beyond themselves : if they had felt delight in ' Hamlet,' 
they glowed with rapture at the mountebank : they had listened 
with attention to the lofty thought, but they were snatched from 
themselves by the marvel of the strange posture. ' Enough,' said 
1 ; ' I correct my former notion. Where is the glory of ruling 
men's minds, and commanding their admiration, when a greater 
enthusiasm is excited by mere bodily agility than was kindled by 
the most wonderful emanations of a genius little less than divine ? ' 
I have never forgotten the impression of that evening." 

Lester attempted to combat the truth of the illustration ; and 
thus conversing, they passed on through the village green, when 
the gaunt form of Corporal Bunting arrested their progress. 



,VJ ECJGEHE AKAM. 

"Beg pardon, squire," said he, -with a military salute "beg 
pardon, your honour," bowingto Aram ; "but I wanted to sneak to 
you, squire, 'bout the rent of the bit cot yonder : times very nard— 

pay scarce — and " 

"You desire a little delay, Bunting, eh ?— Well, well, we 11 see 
about it ; look up at the hall to-morrow. Mr. "Walter, I know, 
wants to consult you about letting the water from the great pond, 
and you must give us your opinion of the new brewing." 

"Thank your honour, thank you ; much obliged, I'm sure. I 
hope your 'honour liked the trout I sent up. Beg pardon, Master 
Aram, mayhap you would condescend to accept a tew fish, now and 
then ; they're very fine in these streams, as you probably know ; 
if you please to let me, I'll send some up by the old 'oman to- 
morrow, that is, if the day's cloudy a bit." 

The scholar thanked the good Bunting, and would have pro- 
ceeded onward, but the corporal was in a familiar mood. 

" Beg pardon, beg pardon, but strange-looking dog_ here last 
evening — asked after you — said you were old friend of his — trotted 
off in your direction — hope all was right, master ? — augh ! " 

" All right ! " repeated Aram, fixing his eyes on the corporal, 
who had concluded his speech with a significant wink, and pausing 
a full moment before he continued ; then, as if satisfied with his 
survey, he added,' — 

" Ay, ay, I know whom you mean : he had become acquainted 
with ine some years ago. So you saw him ! What said he to 
you — of me ? " 

" Augh ! little enough. Master Aram : he seemed to think only 
of satisfying his own appetite ; said he'd been a soldier." 
" A soldier ! — true ! " 

" Never told me the regiment, though ; shy ! — did he ever 
desert, pray, your honour ? " 

" I don't know," answered Aram, turning away. " I know 
little, very little, about him ! " He was going away, but stopped 
to add—" The man called on me last night for assistance : the late- 
ness of the hour a little alarmed me. I gave him what I could 
afford, and hi has now proceeded on his journey." 

" Oh, then, he won't take up his quarters hereabouts, your 
honour ? " said the corporal, inquiringly. 
"No.no; good evening." 

" What ! this singular sti anger, who so frightened my poor 
girls, is really known to you ! " said Lester, in surprise : " pray is 
he as formidable as he seemed to them ? " 

" Scarcely," said Aram, with great composure ; '' he has been a 
wild roving fellow all his life, but — but there is little real harm in 
him. He is certainly ill-favoured enough to — " here, interrupting 
himself, and breaking into a new sentence, Aram added : " but at 
all events he will frighten your nieces no more — he has proceeded 
on his journey northward. And now, yonder lies my way home. 
Good evening." The abruptness of this farewell did indeed take 
Lester by surprise. 
"Why, you will not have me yet? Tbe young ladies expect 



Kt'CiKNK AKAM. it 

your return to them for an hour or so ! What will they think of 
such desertion ! No, no, come back, my good friend, and suiter 
me by-and-by to walk some part of the way home with you." 

" Pardon me," said Aram, " I must leave you now. As to the 
ladies," he added, with a faint smile, half in melancholy, half in 
scorn, " I am not one whom they could miss ; — forgive me if 1 
seem unceremonious. Adieu." 

Lester at tirst felt a little offended, but when he recalled the 
peculiar habits of the scholar, he saw that the only way to hope 
for a continuance of that society which had so pleased him, was to 
indulge Aram at tirst in his unsocial inclinations, rather than 
annoy him by a troublesome hospitality ; he therefore, without 
further discourse, shook hands with him, and they parted. 

"When Lester regained the little parlour, he found his nephew 
sitting, silent and discontented, by the window. Madeline had 
taken up a book, and Ellinor, in an opposite corner, was plying her 
needle with an air of earnestness and quiet, very unlike her usual 
playful and cheerful vivacity. There was evidently a cloud over 
the group ; the good Lester regarded them with a searching, yet 
kindly eye. 

" And what has happened ? " said he : " something of mighty 
import, I am sure, or I should have heard my pretty Ellinor's 
merry laugh long before I crossed the threshold." 

Ellinor coloured and sighed, and worked faster than ever. 
"Walter threw open the window, and whistled a favourite air quite 
out of tune. Lester smiled, and seated himself by his nephew. 

" "Well, "Walter," said he, " I feel, for the first time these ten 
years, that I have a right to scold you. What on earth could 
make you so inhospitable to your uncle's guest? You eyed 
the poor student, as if you wished bim among the books of 
Alexandria ! " 

" I would he were burnt with them ! " answered W alter, sharply. 
"He seems to have added the black art to his other accomplish- 
m ents, and bewitched my fair cousins here into a forgetfulness of 
all but himself." _ 

" Not me ! " said Ellinor eagerly, and looking up. 

" No, not you, that's true enough ; you are too just, too kind ; — 
it is a pity that Madeline is not more like you." 

" My dear Walter," said Madeline, "what is the matter? You 
accuse me of what r being attentive to a man whom it is impossible 
to hear without attention ! " 

" There ! " cried W alter, passionately, " you confess it. And so 
for a stranger, — a cold, vain, pedantic egotist, vou can shut your 
ears and heart to those who have known and loved you all your 
life ; and — and " 

" "Vain ! " interrupted Madeline, unheeding the latter part of 
Walter's address. 

" Pedantic ! " repeated her father. 

" Yes ! I say vain, pedantic ! " cried Walter, working himself 
into a passion. " What on earth but the love of display could 
make him monopolise the whole conversation ?— What but pedantry 



32 EUGENE AilAM. 

could make him bring out those anecdotes, and allusions, and 
descriptions, or whatever you call them, respecting every old wall 
or srapid plant in the country ? " 

" I never thought you guilty of meanness before," said Lester, 
gravely. 

" Meanness ! " 

" Yes ! for is it not mean to be jealous of superior acquirements, 
instead of admiring them ? " 

" What has been the use of those acquirements? _ Has he 
benefited mankind by them ? Show me the poet — the historian — 
the orator, and I will yield to none of you ; no, not to Madeline 
herself, in homage of their genius : but the mere creature of books 
— the dry and sterile collector of other men's learning— no — no. 
What should I admire in such a machine of literature, except 
a waste of perseverance ? — And Madeline calls him handsome, 
too ! " 

At this sudden turn from declamation to reproach, Lestei 
laughed outright ; and his nephew, in high anger, rose and left the 
room. 

" Who could have thought Walter so foolish ? " said Madeline. 

" Nay," observed Ellinor, gently, " it is the folly of a kind heart, 
after all. He feels sore at our seeming to prefer another — I mean 
another's conversation — to his ! " 

Lester turned round in his chair, and regarded with a serious 
look the faces of both sisters. 

" My dear Ellinor," said he, when he had finished his survey, 
" you are a kind girl — come and kiss me!" 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE BEHAVIOUE OF THE STUDENT.— A SUMMEE SCENE. — AH AM '8 
CONVERSATION WITH WALTEB, AND SUBSEQUENT COLLOQUY WITH 
HIMSELF. 



The soft season, the firmament serene, 

The loun illuminate air, and firth amene 

The silver scalit fishes on the grete 

O'cr-thwart clear streams spniikillond for the hen*' 

Gaurin Dougtm. 
Ilia subter 
Csecum vvdnus habes ; sed lato balteus auro 
Praetegit.* — Persius. 



Several days elapsed before the family of the manor-house 
encountered Aram again. The old woman came once or twice to 
present the inquiries of her master as to Miss Lester's accident ; but 
Aram himself did not appear. This want of interest certainly 

* You have a wound deep hidden in your heart ; but the broad belt of goid cob- 

ceals it. 



i.l 1 1 I..N 1. An A.M. 33 

oU'ended Madeline, .1 1 though she still drew upon herself "\V alter a 
displeasure, by disputing and resenting the unfavourable strictures 
ou the scholar, in which that young gentleman delighted to indulge, 
liy degrees, however, as the davs passed without maturing the 
acquaintance which Walter had disapproved, the youth relaxed iu 
his attacks, and seemed to yield to the remonstrances of his uncle. 
Lester had, indeed, conceived an especial inclination towards the 
recluse. Any man of reflection, who has lived for some time alone, 
and who suddenly meets with one who calls forth in him, and 
without labour or contradiction, the thoughts which have sprung 
up in his solitude, scarcely felt in their growth, will comprehend 
the ii9w zest, the awakening, as it were in the mind, which Lester 
found in the conversation of Eugene Aram. His solitary walk (for 
his nephew had the separate pursuits of youth) appeared to him 
more dull than before ; and he longed to renew an intercourse 
which had given to the monotony of his life both variety and relief. 
He called twice upon Aram, but the student was, oj affected to be, 
from home ; and an invitation that Lester sent him, though 
couched in friendly terms, was, but with great semblance of 
kindness, refused. 

" See, Walter," said Lester, disconcerted as he finished reading 
the refusal — "see what your rudeness has effected. I am quite 
convinced that Aram (evidently a man of susceptible as well as 
retired mind) observed the coldness of your manner towards him, 
and that thus you have deprived me of the only society which, 
in this wilderness of boors and savages, gave me any gratification." 

Walter replied apologetically, but his uncle turned away with a 
greater appearance of anger than his placid features were wont to 
exhibit ; and Walter, cursing the innocent cause of his uncle's dis- 
pleasure towards him, took up his fishing-rod and went out alone, 
in no happy or exhilarated mood. 

It was waxing towards eve — an hour especially lovely in the 
month of June, and not without reason favoured by the angler. 
Walter sauntered across the rich and fragrant fields, and came 
soon into a sheltered valley, through which the brooklet wound its 
shadowy way. Along the margin, the grass sprung up long and 
matted, and profuse with a thousand weeds and flowers — the chil- 
dren of the teeming June. Here the ivy-leafed bell-flower, and not 
far from it the common enchanter's nightshade, the silver weed, 
and the water- aven ; and by the hedges that now and then neared 
the water, the guelder-rose, and the white briony, overrunning 
the thicket with its emerald leaves and luxuriant flowers. Ar.d 
here and there, silvering the bushes, the elder offered its snowy 
tribute to the summer. All the insect youth were abroad, with, 
their bright wings and glancing motion ; and from the lower 
depths of the bushes the blackbird darted across, or higher and 
unseen the first cuckoo of the eve began its continuous and mellow 
note. All this cheeriness and gloss of life, which enamour us with 
the few bright days of the English summer, make the poetry in an 
angler's life, and convert every idler at heart into a moralist, and 
not a gloomy one, for the time. 

D 



M EDGENJi AliAM. 

Softened by the quiet beauty and voluptuousness around him, 
Walter's thoughts assumed a more gentle dye, and he broke out 
into the old lines — 

" Sweet day, so soft, so calm, so bright; 
The bridal of the earth and sky," 

as he dipped his line into the current, and drew it across the 
shadowy hollows beneath the bank. The river gods were not, 
however, in a favourable mood, and after waiting in vain for some 
time, in a spot in which he was usually successful, ne proceeded 
slowly along the margin of the brooklet, crushing the reeds at 
every step, into that fresh and delicious odour, which furnished 
Bacon with one of his most beautiful comparisons. 

He thought as he proceeded, that beneath a tree that overhung 
the waters in the narrowest part of their channel, he heard a voice, 
and as he approached he recognised it as Aram's. A curve in the 
stream brought him close by the spot, and he saw the student 
half-reclined beneath the tree, and muttering, but at broken 
intervals, to himself. 

The words were so scattered, that "Walter did not trace their 
clue ; but involuntarily he stopped short, within a few feet of the 
soliloquist ; and Aram, suddenly turning round, beheld him. A 
fierce and abrupt change broke over the scholar's countenance ; 
his cheek grew now pale, now flushed ; and his brows knit over his 
flashing and dark eyes with an intent anger, that was the more 
withering, from its contrast to the usual calmness of his features. 
Walter drew back, but Aram, stalking directly up to him, gazed 
into his face, as if he would read his very soul. 

" What ! eavesdropping ? " said he, with a ghastly smile. " You 
overheard me, did you ? Well, well, what said I ? — what said I ? " 
Then pausing, and noting that Walter did not reply, he stamped 
his foot violently, and grinding his teeth, repeated in a smothered 
tone, — " Boy ! what said I ? " 

" Mr. Aram," said Walter, " you forget yourself. I am not one 
to play the listener, more especially to the learned ravings of a 
man who can conceal nothing I care to know. Accident brought 
me hither." 

"What! surely— surely I spoke aloud, did I not? — did I 
not?" 

" You did, but so incoherently and indistinctly, that I did not 
profit by your indiscretion. I cannot plagiarize, I assure you, 
from any scholastic designs you might have been giving vent to." 

Aram looked on him for a moment, and then breathing heavily, 
turned away, 

" Pardon me," he said : " I am a poor, half-crazed man ; much 
study has unnerved me ; I should never live but with my own 
thoughts ; forgive me, sir, I pray you." 

Touched by the sudden contrition of Aram's manner, Walter 
forgot, not only his present displeasure, but his general dislike ; 
i le stretched forth his hand to the student, and hastened to assure 



BCGKXE A.RAM. 3C 

him of his ready forgiveness. Aram sighed deeply as he pressed' 
the young man's hand, and Walter saw, with surprise and emotion, 
that his eyes were filled with tears. 

" Ah ! " said Aram, gently shaking his head, " it is a hard life 
we bookmen lead ! Not for us is the bright face of noonday or 
the smile of woman, the gay unbending of the heart, the neighing 
steed, and the shrill trump ; the pride, pomp, and circumstance of 
life. Our enjoyments are few and calm ; our labour constant ; but 
that is not the evil, sir ! — the body avenges its own neglect. We 
grow old before our time; we wither up ; the sap of youth shrinks 
from our veins ; there is no bound in our step. We look about us 
with dimmed eyes, and our breath grows short and thick, and 
pains, and coughs, and shooting aches, come upon us at night : it 
is a bitter life — a bitter life — a joyless life. I would I had never 
commenced it. And yet the harsh world scowls upon us : our 
nerves are broken, and they wonder why we are querulous ; our 
blood curdles, and they ask why we are not gay ; our brain grows 
dizzy and indistinct (as with me just now), and shrugging their 
shoulders, they whisper their neighbours that we are mad. I wish 
I had worked at the plough, and known sleep, and loved mirth — 
and — and not been what I am." 

As the student uttered the last sentence, he bowed his head, and 
a few tears stole silently down his cheek. Walter was greatly 
affected — it took him by surprise ; nothing in Aram's ordinary 
demeanour betrayed any facility to emotion ; and he conveyed to 
all the idea of a man, if not proud, at least cold. 

" You do not suffer bodily pain, I trust?" asked Walter, 
soothingly. 

" Pain does not conquer me," said Aram, slowly recovering 
himself. " I am not melted by that which I would fain despise. 
Young man, I wronged you — you have forgiven me. Well, well, 
we will say no more on that head; it is past and pardoned. 
Your uncle has been kind to me, and I have not returned 
his advances ; you shall tell him why. I have lived thirteen 
years by myself, and I have contracted strange ways and many 
humours not common to the world — you have seen an example 
of this. Judge for yourself if I be lit for the smoothness, and 
confidence, and ease of social intercourse ; I am not fit, I feel it ! 
I am doomed to be alone ; tell your uncle this— tell him to suffer 
me to live so ! I am grateful for his goodness — I know his motives 
— but I have a certain pride of mind ; I cannot bear sufferance — I 
loathe indulgence. Nay, interrupt me not, I beseech you. Look 
round on Nature — behold the only company that humbles me not 
— except the dead whose souls speak to us from the immortality of 
books. These herbs at your feet, I know their secrets — I watch 
the mechanism of their life; the winds — they have taught me 
their language ; the stars — I have unravelled their mysteries ; and 
these, the creatures and ministers of God — these I offend not by 
my mood — to them I utter my thoughts, and break forth into my 
dreams, without reserve and without fear. But men disturb me — 
I have nothing to learn from them — I have no wish to confide in 



36 EUGENE AKAM. 

them ; they cripple the wild liberty which has become to me 3 
second nature. What its shell is to the tortoise, solitude has 
Decome to me— my protection ; nay, my life ! " 

'• But," said Walter, " with us, at least, you would not have to 
dread restraint ; you might come when you would ; be silent or 
converse, according to your will." 

Aram smiled faintly, but made no immediate reply. 

"So, you have been angling ! " he said, after a short pause, and 
as if willing to change the thread of conversation. " Eie ! it is 
a treacherous pursuit , it encourages man's worst propensities — 
cruelty and deceit." 

" I should have thought a lover of Nature would have been 
more indulgent to a pastime which introduces us to her most 
quiet retreats." 

"And cannot Nature alone tempt you without need of such 
allurements ? What ! that crisped and winding stream, with 
flowers on its very tide — the water- violet and the water-lily— 
these silent brakes — the cool of the gathering evening — the still 
and luxuriance of the universal life around you ; are not these 
enough of themselves to tempt you forth ? If not, go to ! — your 
excuse is hypocrisy." 

•' I am used to these scenes," replied Walter ; "lam weary of 
thfl thoughts they produce in me, and long for any diversion or' 
excitement." 

" Ay, ay, young man ! The mind is restless at your age : 
have a care. Perhaps you long to visit the world, to quit these 
obscure haunts which you are fatigued in admiring ? " 

"It may be so," said Walter, with a slight sigh. " I should at 
least like to visit our great capital, and note the contrast ; I should 
come back, I imagine, with a greater zest to these scenes." 

Aram laughed. " My friend," said he, " when men have once 
plunged into the great sea of human toil and passion, they soon 
wash away all love and zest for innocent enjoyments. What once 
was a soft retirement, will become the most intolerable monotony ; 
the gaming of social existence — the feverish and desperate chances 
of honour and wealth, upon which the men of cities set their 
hearts, render all pursuits less exciting, utterly insipid and dull. 
The brook and the angle — ha ! ha ! — these are not occupations for 
men who have once battled with the world." 

" I can forego them, then, without regret," said Walter, with 
the sanguineness of his years. Aram looked upon him wistfully ; 
the bright eye, the healthy cheek, and vigorous frame of the youth, 
suited with his desire to seek the conflict of his kind, and gave 
a natural grace to his ambition, which was not without interest, 
even to the recluse. 

" Poor boy ! " said he, mournfully, " how gallantly the ship 
leaves the port ; how worn and battered it will return ! " 

When they parted, Walter returned slowly homewards, filled 
with pity for the singular man whom he had seen so strangely 
overpowered ; and wondering how suddenly his mind had lost its 
forme? rancour to the student. Yet there mingled even with 



l'L'UENE ARAM. 37 

(hti-e kindly feelings a little displeasure at the superior tone which 
Aram had unconsciously adopted towards him; and to which, 
from any one, the high spirit of the young man was not readily 
willing to submit. 

Meanwhile, the shident continued his path along the water-side 
and as, with his gliding step and musing air, he roamed onward 
it was impossible to imagine a form more suited to the deep tran- 
quillity of the scene. Even the wild birds seemed to feel, by a 
sort of instinct, that in him there was no cause for fear ; and did 
not stir from the turf that neighboured, or the spray that 
overhung, his path. 

" So," said he, soliloquising, but not without casting frequent 
and jealous glances round him, and in a murmur so indistinct as 
would have been inaudible even to a listener — " so, I was not over- 
heard. Well, I must cure myself of this habit ; our thoughts, like 
nuns, ought not to go abroad without a veil. Ay, this tone will 
not betray me ; I will preserve its tenor, for I can scarcely alto- 
gether renounce my sole confidant — self : and thought seems more 
clear when uttered even thus. 'Tis a fine youth ! full of the im- 
pulse and daring of his years ; I was never so young at heart. I 
was — nay, what matters it ? Who is answerable for his nature ? 
Who can say, — ' I controlled all the circumstances which made me 
what I am r' Madeline, — heavens ! did I bring on myself this temp- 
tation ? Have I not fenced it from me throughout all my youth, 
when my brain did at moments forsake me, and the veins did 
bound ? And now, when the yellow hastens _ on the green of life ; 
now, for the first time, this emotion — this weakness — and for 
whom ? One I have lived with — known — beneath whose eyes I 
have passed through all the fine gradations, from liking to love, 
from love to passion ! No ; — one, whom I have seen but little ; 
who, it is true, arrested my eye at the first glance it caught of her 
two years since, but to whom, till within the last few weeks, I have 
scarcely spoken ! Her voice rings in my ear, her look dwells on. 
my heart ; when I sleep she is with me ; when I wake I am haunted 
by her image. Strange, strange! Is love, then, after all, the sud- 
den passion which in every age poetry has termed it, though till 
now my reason has disbelieved the notion. . . And now, 
what is the question ? To resist, or to yield. Her father invites 
me, courts me ; and I stand aloof ! Will this strength, this for- 
bearance, last? Shall I encourage my mind to this decision?" 
Here Aram paused abruptly, and then renewed : " It is true ! I 
ought to weave my lot with none. Memory sets me apart and alone 
in the world ; it seems unnatural to me — a thought of dread — to 
bring another being to my solitude, to set an everlasting watch on 
my uprisings and my downsittings ; to invite eyes to my face when 
I sleep at nights, and ears to every word that may start unbidden 
from my lips. But if the watch be the watch of love — away ! does 
love endure for ever ? He who trusts to woman, trusts to the type 
of change. Affection may turn to hatred, fondness to loathing, 
anxiety to dread ; and, at the best, woman is weak — she is the 



ECGE.N'.t: ARAM. 



minion to her impulses. Enough : I will steel my soul, — shut up 
the avenues of sense, brand with the scathing-iron these yet green 
and soft emotions of lingering youth, — and freeze, and chain, and 
eurdle up feeling, and heart, and manhood, into ice and age !" 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE POWER OF LOVE OVEH THE EESOLUTION OF THE STUDENT.— 
ABAM BECOMES A FEEQUENT GUEST AT THE MANOE-HOUSE.— A 
WALK.— CONVEBSATION WITH DAME DABKMANS.—HEB HISTOBY.— 
POVEBTY AND ITS EFFECTS. 



Mad. Then, as Time won thee frequent to our hearth, 
Didst thou not breathe, like dreams, into ray soul 
Nature's more gentle secrets, the sweet lore 
Of the green herb and the bee- worshipped flower ? 
And when deep Night did o'er the nether Earth 
Diffuse meek quiet, and the Heart of Heaven 
With love grew breathless — didst thou not unroll 
The volume of the weird Chaldean stars, 
And of the winds, the clouds, the invisible air, 
Make eloquent discourse, until, methought, 
No human lip, but some diviner spirit 
Alone, could preach such truths of things divine ? 
And so— and so— 

Aram. From Heaven we turn'd to Earth, 

And Wisdom fathered Passion. 

* * * * * 

Aram. Wise men have praised the Peasant's thoughtless lot, 
And learned Pride hath envied humble Toil ; 
If they were right, why let us burn our books, 
And sit us down, and play the fool with Time, 
Mocking the prophet Wisdom's high decrees, 
And walling this trite Present with dark clouds. 
Till Night becomes our Nature ; and the ray 
Ev'n of the stars, but meteors that withdraw 
The wandering spirit from the sluggish rest 
Which makes its proper bliss. I will accost 
This denizen of toil. — From " Eugene Aram," a MS. Tragedy. 

A wicked hag, and envy's self excelling 

In mischiefe, for herself she only vext, 

But this same, both herself and others eke perplext. 

***** 

Who then can strive with strong necessity, 

That holds the world in his still changing state, &c. &c. 

Then do no further go, no further stray, 

But here lie down, and to thy rest betake. — Spenser. 

Few men, perhaps, could boast of so masculine and firm a mind 
as, despite his eccentricities, Aram assuredly possessed. His habits 
of solitude had strengthened its natural hardihood ; for, accustomed 
to make all the sources of happiness flow solely from himself, his 
thoughts the only companions — his genius the only vivifier— 



MWENE ABAM. 3» 

of his retreat, the tone and faculty of his spirit could not but 
assume that austere and vigorous energy which the habit of 
self -dependence almost invariably produces ; and yet the reader, 
if he he young, will scarcely feel surprised that the resolution 
of the student, to battle against incipient love, from whatever 
reasons it might be formed,^ gradually and reluctantly _ meltec 
away. It may be noted, that the enthusiasts of learning and 
reverie have, at one time or another in their lives, been, of all the 
tribes of men, the most keenly susceptible to love ; their solitude 
feeds their passion ; and deprived, as they usually are, of the more 
hurried and vehement occupations of life, when love is once admit- 
ted to their hearts, there is no counter-check to its emotions, and 
no escape from its excitement. Aram, too, had just arrived at 
that age when a man usually feels a sort of revulsion in the 
current of his desires. At that age, those who have hitherto pur- 
sued love, begin to grow alive to ambition ; those who have been 
slaves to the pleasures of life, awaken from the dream, and direct 
their desire to its interests. And in the same proportion, they who 
till then have wasted the prodigal fervours of youth upon a sterile 
soil, — who have served Ambition, or, like Aram, devoted their 
hearts to Wisdom, relax from their ardour, look back on the 
departed years with regret, and commence, in their manhood, the 
fiery pleasures and delirious follies which are only pardonable in 
youth. In short, as in every human pursuit there is a certain 
vanity, and as every acquisition contains within itself the seed of 
disappointment, so there is a period of life when we pause from tho 
pursuit, and are discontented with the acquisition. We then look 
around us for something new — again follow — and are again deceived. 
Few men throughout life are the servants to one desire. When 
we gain the middle of the bridge of our mortality, different objects 
from those which attracted us upward almost invariably lure us 
down the descent. Happy they who exhaust in the former part of 
the journey all the foibles of existence ! But how different is the 
crude and evanescent love of that age when thought has not given 
intensity and power to the passions, from the love which is felt for 
the first time, in maturer but still youthful years ! As the flame 
burns the brighter in proportion to the resistance which it conquers, 
this later love is the more glowing in proportion to the length of 
time in which it has overcome temptation ; all the solid and 
concentred faculties, ripened to their full height, are no longer 
capable of tho infinite distractions, the numberless caprices of 
youth ; the rays of the heart, not rendered weak by diversion, 
collect into one burning focus ; * the same earnestness and unity of 
purpose which render what we undertake in manhood so far more 
successful than what we would effect in youth, are equally visible 
and equally triumphant, whether directed to interest or to love. But 
then, as in Aram, the feelings must be fresh as well as matured; 
they must not have been fritted away by previous indulgence; 

« Love is of the nature ot a burning-glass, which, kept still in one place, ftreth 
•hanged often, '.t doth nothing I —Letters by Sir John Suckling. 



4-0 EUGENE An am. 

the love must be the first produce of the soil, not the languid after 
growth. 

The reader will remark, that the first time in which our narrative 
has brought Madeline and Aram together was not the first time 
they had met : Aram had long noted with admiration a beauty 
which he had never seen paralleled, and certain vague and unsettled 
feelings had preluded the deep emotion that her image now excited 
within him. But the main cause of his present and growing 
attachment had been in the evident sentiment of kindness which 
he could not but feel Madeline bore towards him. So retiring a 
nature as his might never have harboured love, if the love bore the 
character of presumption ; but that one so beautiful beyond his 
dreams as Madeline Lester should deign to cherish for him a 
tenderness, that might suffer him to hope, was a thought that, 
when he caught her eye unconsciously fixed upon him, and noted 
that her voice grew softer and more tremulous when she addressed 
him, forced itself upon his heart, and woke there a strange and 
irresistible emotion which solitude and the brooding reflection that 
solitude produces — a reflection so much more intense in proportion 
to the paucity of living images it dwells upon — soon ripened into 
love, rerhaps, even, he would not have resisted the impulse as 
he now did, had not at this time certain thoughts connected with 
past events been more forcibly than of late years obtruded upon 
him, and thus in some measure divided his heart. By degrees, 
however, those thoughts receded from their vividness, into the 
habitual deep, but not oblivious shade, beneath which his com- 
manding mind had formerly driven them to repose ; and as they 
thus receded, Madeline's image grew more undisturbedly present, 
and his resolution to avoid its power more fluctuating and feeble. 
Fate seemed bent upon bringing together these two persons, already 
so attracted towards each other. After the conversation recorded 
in our last chapter, between "Walter and the student, the former. 
touched and softened as we have seen in spite of himself, had 
cheerfully forborne (what before he had done reluctantly) the 
expressions of dislike which he had once lavished so profusely upon 
Aram ; and Lester, who, forward as he had seemed, had never- 
theless been hitherto a little checked in his advances to his 
neighbour by the hostility of his nephew, felt no scruple to deter 
him from urging them with a pertinacity that almost forbade 
refusal. It was Aram's constant habit, in all seasons, to wander 
abroad at certain times of the day, especially towards the evening; 
and if Lester failed to win entrance to his house, he was thus enabled 
to meet the student in his frequent rambles, and with a seeming free - 
dom from design. Actuated by his great benevolence of character, 
Lester earnestly desired to win his solitary and unfriended neigh- 
hour from a mood and habit which he naturally imagined must 
engender a growing melancholy of mind ; and since Walter had 
detailed to him the particulars of his meeting with Aram, this 
desire had been considerably increased. There is not, perhaps, a 
stronger feeling in the world than pity, when united with admi- 
ration. "When one man is resolved to know another it is almost 



KIGK.NF. ARAM. 4i 

impossible to prevent it : we sco daily the most remarkable in- 
stances of perseverance on one side conquering; distaste on the other. 
By degrees, then, Aram relaxed from his insociability ; he seemed 
to surrender himself to a kindness, the sincerity of which he was 
compelled to acknowledge ; if ho for a long- time refused to accept 
the hospitality of his neighbour, he did not reject his society when 
they met ; and this intercourse increased by little and little, until, 
ultimately, the recluse yielded to solicitation, and became the 
guest as well as companion. This, at first accident, grew, 
though not without many interruptions, into habit ; and, at length, 
few evenings were passed by the inmates of the manor-house with- 
out the society cf the student. 

As his reserve wore off, his conversation mingled with its attrac- 
tions a tender and affectionate tone. He seemed grateful for the 
pains which had been taken to allure him to a scene in which, at 
last, he acknowledged he found a happiness that he had never 
experienced before: and those who had hitherto admired him for 
iiis genius, admired him now yet more for his susceptibility to the 
affections. 

There was not in Aram anything that savoured of the harshness 
of pedantry, or the petty vanities of dogmatism ; his voice was soft 
and low, and his manner always remarkable for its singular gen- 
tleness, and a certain dignified humility. His language did, in- 
deed, at times, assume a tone of calm and patriarchal command ; 
but it was only the command arising from an intimate persuasion 
of the truth of what he uttered. Moralizing upon our nature, or 
mourning over the delusions of the world, a grave and solemn 
strain breathed throughout his lofty words and the profound 
melancholy of his wisdom : but it touched, not offended — elevated, 
not humbled — the lesser intellect of his listeners ; and even this 
air of unconscious superiority vanished when he was invited to 
teach or explain. 

That task which so few do gracefully, that an accurate and 
shrewd thinker has said, — " It is always safe to learn, even from 
our enemies; seldom safe to instruct even our friends,"* — Aram 
performed with a meekness and simplicity that charmed the vanity, 
even while it corrected the ignorance of the applicant ; and so 
various and minute was the information of this accomplished man, 
that there scarcely existed any branch even of that knowledge 
usually called practical, to which he could not impart from his 
stores something valuable and new. The agriculturist was aston- 
ished at the success of his suggestions ; and the mechanic was 
indebted to him for the device which abridged his labour in im- 
proving its result. 

It happened that the study of botany was not, at that day, so 
favourite and common a diversion with young ladies as it is now ; 
and Ellinor, captivated by the notion of a science that gave a life 
and a history to the loveliest of earth's offspring, besought Aram to 
teach her its principles. 



42 EVQUSE AJiAM 

As Madeline, though she did not second the request, could 
scarcely absent herself from sharing the lesson, this pursuit brought 
the pair — already lovers — closer and closer together. It associated 
them not only at home, but in their rambles throughout that en- 
chanting country ; and there is a mysterious influence in nature, 
■which renders us, in her loveliest scenes, the most susceptible to love ! 
Then, too, how often in their occupation their hands_ and eye-s met : 
how often, by the shady wood or the soft water-side, they found 
themselves alone. In all times, how dangerous the connection, 
when of different sexes, between the scholar and the teacher ! 
Under how many pretences, in that connection, the heart hnds the 
opportunity to speak out. 

Yet it was not with ease and complacency that Aram delivered 
himself to the intoxication of his deepening attachment. Some- 
times he was studiously cold, or evidently wrestling with the pow- 
erful passion that mastered his reason. It was not without many 
throes and desperate resistance, that love at length overwhelmed 
and subdued him ; and these alternations of his mood, if they 
sometimes offended Madeline and sometimes wounded, still rather 
increased than lessened the spell which bound her to him. The 
doubt and the fear, the caprice and the change, which agitate the 
surface, swell also the tides of passion. Woman, too, whose love 
is so much the creature of her imagination, always asks something 
of mystery and conjecture in the object of ber affection. It is a 
luxury to her to perplex herself with a thousand apprehensions ; 
and the more restlessly her lover occupies her mind, the more deeply 
he enthrals it. 

Mingling with her pure and tender attachment to Aram a high 
and unswerving veneration, she saw in his fitfulness, and occa- 
sional abstraction and contradiction of manner, a confirmation of 
the modest sentiment that most weighed upon her fears ; and 
imagined that, at those times, he thought her, as she deemed her- 
self, unworthy of his love. And this was the only struggle which 
she conceived to pass between the affection he evidently bore her, 
and the feelings which had as yet restrained him from its open 
avowal. 

One evening, Lester and the two sisters were walking with the 
student along the valley that led to the house of the latter, when 
they saw an old woman engaged in collecting firewood among the 
bushes, and a little girl holding out her apron to receive the sticks 
with which the crone's skinny arms unsparingly filled it. The 
child trembled, and seemed half-crying ; while the old woman, in a 
harsh, grating croak, was muttering forth mingled objurgation and 
complaint. 

There was something in the appearance of the latter at once 
impressive and displeasing ; a dark, withered, furrowed skin was 
drawn like parchment over harsh and aquiline features : the eyes, 
through the rheum of age, glittered forth black and malignant ;. 
and even her stooping posture did not conceal a height greatly 
above the common stature, though gaunt and shrivelled with years 
and poverty, ^t was a form and face that might have recalled at 



KCUKNJi AilAM. #3. 

once the oelebrated description of Otway, on a part of which we 
have already unconsciously encroached, and the remaining part of 
which we shall wholly borrow : — 

" On her crook'd shoulders had she wrapp'd 
The tatter'd remnants of an old stripp'd hanging, 
That served to keep her carcass from the cold, 
So there was nothing of a piece about her. 
Her lower weeds were all o'er coarsely patch'd 
With different-colour'd rags, black, red, white, yellow. 
And seem'd to speak variety of wretchedness." 

" See," said Lester, " one of the eyesores of our village (I might 
say), the only discontented person." 

' What ! Dame Darkmans ! " said Ellinor, quickly. " Ah ! let 
us turn back. I hate to encounter that old woman ; there is some- 
thing so evil and savage in her manner of talk, — and look, how 
she rates that poor girl, whom she has dragged or decoyed to assist 
her ! " 

Aram looked curiously on the old hag. " Poverty," said he, 
" makes some humble, but more malignant ; is it not want that 
grafts the devil on this poor woman's nature ? Come, let us 
accost her — I like conferring with distress." 

" It is hard labour this ? " said the student gently. 

The old woman looked up askant — the music 01 the voice that 
addressed her sounded harsh on her ear. 

" Ay, ay ! " she answered. " You fine gentlefolks can know 
what the poor suffer ; ye talk and ye talk, but ye never assist." 

" Say not so, dame," said Lester ; " did I not send you but 
yesterday bread and money ? And when did you ever look up at 
the hall without obtaining relief ? " 

" But the bread was as dry as a stick," growled the hag : " and 
the money, what was it ? will it last a week ? Oh, yes ! Ye think 
as much of your doits and mites, as if ye stripped yourselves of a 
comfort to give it to us. Did ye have a dish less — a 'tato less, the 
day ye sent me — your charity I 'spose ye calls it? Och ! fie ! But 
the Bible 's the poor cretur's comfort." 

" I am glad to hear you say that, dame," said the good-natured 
Lester ; " and I forgive everything else you have said, on account of 
that one sentence." 

The old woman dropped the sticks she had just gathered, and 
glowered at the speaker's benevolent countenance with a malicious 
meaning in her dark eyes. 

" An' ye do ? Well, I'm glad I please ye there. Och ! yes ! the 
Bible 's a mighty comfort ; for it says as much that the rich man 
shall not thter the kingdom of Heaven ! There's a truth for you, 
that makes the poor folks' heart chirp like a cricket — ho ! ho ! I 
sits by the j'mbers of a night, and I thinks and thinks as how I 
shall see you all burning ; and ye'll ask me for a drop o' water, 
and I shall laugh thin from my pleasant seat with the angels,,. 
Och ! it's a book for the poor, that ! " 

The sisters shuddered. " And you think, then, that with envy. 



4i EUGENE AKAM. 

malice, and all uncharitableness at your heart, you are certain, of 
Heaven ? For shame ! Pluck the mote from your own eye ! " 

" What sinnifies praching ? Did not the Blessed Saviour come 
for the poor ? Them as has rags and dry bread here will be ixalted 
in the nixt world ; an' if we poor folk have malice as ye calls it, 
whose fault's that? What do ye tache us? Eh?— Answer me 
that. Ye keeps all the laming an' all the other fine things to 
yoursel', and then ye scould, and thritten, and hang us, 'cause 
we are not as wise as you. Och ! there 's no jistice in the Lamb, 
if Heaven is not made for us ; and the iverlasting Hell, with its 
brimstone and fire, and its gnawing an' gnashing of teeth, an' its 
theirst, an' its torture, an' its worm that niver dies, for the like 
o' you ! " 

" Come ! come away," said Ellinor, pulling her father's arm. 

" And if," said Aram, pausing, " if I were to say to yoii,— name 
your want and it shall be fulfilled, would you have no charity for 
me aiso ? " 

"Umph!" returned the hag, "ye are the great scolard; and 
they say ye knows what no one else do. Till me now," and she 
approached, and familiarly laid her bony finger on the student's 
arm ; till me, — have ye iver, among other fine things, known 
poverty ? " 

" I have, woman ! " said Aram, sternly. 

" Och, ye have thin. ! And did ye not sit, and gloom, and eat up 
your own heart, an' curse the sun that looked so gay, an' the 
winged things that played so blithe-like, an' scowl at the rich folk 
that niver wasted a thought on ye ? Till me now, your honour, 
ttll me ! " 

And the crone curtseyed with a mock air of beseeching humi- 
lity. 

" I never forgot, even in want, the love due to my fellow-suffer- 
■ ers ; for, woman, we all suffer, — the rich and the poor : there are 
worse pangs than those of want ! " 

" Ye think there be, do ye ? That's a comfort, — umph! Well, I'll 
till ye now, I feel a rispict for you, that I don't for the rest on 'em : 
for your face does not insult me with being cheary like theirs yon- 
der ; an" I have noted ye walk in the dust with your eyes down 
and your arms crossed ; an' I have said, — that man I do not hate, 
somehow, for he has something dark at his heart like me ! " 

" The lot of earth is woe," answered Aram, calmly, yet shrink- 
ing back from the crone's touch; "judge we charitably, and act 
we kindly to each other. There — this money is not much, but it 
will light your hearth and heap your table without toil, for some 
days at least ! " 

" Thank your honour : an' what think you I'll do with the 
money ? " 

"What?" 

" Drink, drink, drink ! " cried the hag, fiercely. " There's 
Jiothing like drink for the poor, for thin we fancy ourselves what 
we wish ; and," sinking her voice into a whisper, " I thinks tht'n 
that I have my foot on the billies of the rich folks, and my hands 



EUGENE AKAM. 4 y 

twisted about their lntrails, and I hear them shriek, and— thia 
I'm happy." 

"Go nome!" said Aram, turning away, "and open the Book 
of life with other thoughts." 

The little party proceeded ; and, looking back, Lester saw the 
old woman gaze after them, till a turn in the winding valley hid 
her from his sight. 

" That is a strange person, Aram ; scarcely a favourable speci- 
men of the happy English peasant," said Lester, smiling. 

"Yet they say," added Madeline, "that she was not always the 
6ame perverse nnd hateful creature she is now." 

"Ay," said Aram ; " and what, then, is her history ? " 

" Why," replied Madeline, slightly blushing to find herself made 
the narrator of a story, " some forty years ago this woman, so 
gaunt and hideous now, was the beauty of the village. She mar- 
ried an Irish soldier, whose regiment passed through Grassdale, 
and was heard of no more till about ten years back, when she re- 
turned to her native place, the discontented, envious, altered being 
you now see her." 

" She is not reserved in regard to her past life," said Lester. 
" She is too happy to seize the attention of any one to whom she 
can pour forth her dark and angry confidence. She saw her hus- 
band, who was afterwards dismissed the service— a strong, powerful 
man, a giant of his tribe, — pine and waste, inch by inch, from 
mere physical want, and at last literally die from hunger. It 
happened that they had settled in the county in which her husband 
was born, and in that county, those frequent famines which are 
the scourge of Ireland, were for two years especially severe. You 
may note that the old woman has a strong vein of coarse eloquence 
at her command, perhaps acquired in (for it partakes of the natural 
character of) the country in which she lived so long ; and it would 
literally thrill you with horror to hear her descriptions of the 
misery and destitution that she witnessed, and amidst which her 
husband breathed his last. Out of four children, not one survives. 
One, an infant, died within a week of the father ; two sons were 
executed, one at the age of sixteen, one a year older, for robbery 
committed under aggravated circumstances ; and a fourth, a 
daughter, died in the hospitals of London. The old woman 
became a wanderer and a vagrant, and was at length passed to her 
native parish, where she has since dwelt. These are the misfor- 
tunes which have turned her blood to gall; and these are the 
causes which fill her with so bitter a hatred against those whom 
wealth has preserved from sharing or witnessing a fate similar to 
hers." 

" Oh ! " said Aram, n a low, but deep tone, " when — when will 
these hideous disparities be banished from the world ? How many 
noble natures— how many glorious hopes— how much of the se- 
raph's intellect, have been crushed into the mire, or blasted into 
guilt, by the mere force of physical want ! What are the tempta- 
tions of the rich to those of the poor ! Yet, see how lenient wo 
are to the crimes of the one— how relentless to those of the other ' 



-}J EC GENE AEAM 

It is a bad world ; it makes a man's heart sick to look around him 
The consciousness of how little individual genius can do to relieve 
the mass, grinds out, as with a stone, all that is generous in ambi- 
tion ; and to aspire from the level of life is but to be more grasp - 
ingly selfish." 

" Can legislators, or the moralists that instruct legislators, do 
so little, then, towards universal good?" said Lester, doubt- 
in gly. 

" Why, what can they do but forward civilisation. And what 
is civilisation, but an increase of human disparities ? The more 
the luxury of the few, the more startling the wants, and the more 
galling the sense, of poverty. Even the dreams of the philan- 
thropist only tend towards equality ; and where is equality to be 
found, but in the state of the savage ? No : I thought otherwise 
once ; but I now regard the vast lazar-house around us without 
hope of relief ; — death is the sole physician ! " 

" Ah, no," said the high-souled Madeline, eagerly ; " do not take 
away from us the best feeling and the highest desire we can cherish. 
How poor, even in this beautiful world, with the warm sun and 
fresh air about us, would be life, if we could not make the happi- 
ness of others ! " 

Aram looked at the beautiful speaker with a soft and half- 
mournful smile. There, is one very peculiar pleasure that we feel 
as we grow older ; — it is to see embodied, in another and a more 
lovely shape, the thoughts and sentiments we once nursed our- 
selves ; it is as if we viewed before us the incarnation of our 
own youth ; and it is no wonder that we are warmed towards 
the object, that thus seems the living apparition of all that was 
brightest in ourselves ! It was with this sentiment that Aram now 
gazed on Madeline. She felt the gaze, and her heart beat de- 
lightedly ; but she sunk at once into a silence, which she did not 
break during the rest of their walk. 

" I do not say," said Aram, after a pause, " that we are not able 
to make the happiness of those immediately around us. I speak 
only of what we can effect for the mass. And it is a deadening 
thought to mental ambition, that the circle of happiness we can 
create is formed more by our moral than our mental qualities. A 
warm heart, though accompanied but by a mediocre understanding, 
is even more likely to promote the happiness of those around, than 
are the absorbed and abstract, though kindly powers of a more 
elevated genius : but (observing Lester about to interrupt him) 
let us turn from this topic,— lot us turn from man's weakness to 
the glories of the Mother-Nature, from which he sprung." 

And kindling, as he ever did, the moment he approached a sub- 
ject so dear to his studies, Aram now spoke of the stars, which began 
to sparkle forth, — of the vast illimitable career which recent science 
had opened to the imagination,— and of the old, bewildering, yet 
eloquent theories, which from age to age had at once misled and 
elevated the conjecture of past sages. All this was a tbeme to 
which his listeners loved to listen, and Madeline not the lerist. 



kwkm: aeam. 47 

Youth, beauty, pomp, what are these, in point of attraction, to a 
woman's heart, when compared to eloquence ? The magic of the 
tongue is the most dangerous of all spells ! 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE PRIVILEGE OF GENIUS. — LESTER'S SATISFACTION AT THE ASPECT 
OF EVENTS — HIS CONVERSATION WITH WALTER.— A DISCOVERT. 



Ale. I am for Lidian : 
This accident, no doubt, will draw him from liis hermit's life ! 



Lis. Spare my grief, and apprehend 
What I should speak. 

Beaumont and Fletcher " The Lover's Progress.' 



In the course of the various conversations our family of Grass- 
dale enjoyed with their singular neighbour, it appeared that his 
knowledge had not been confined to the closet. At times, he 
dropped remarks which showed that he had been much among cities, 
and travelled with the design, or at least with the vigilance, of 
the observer ; but he did not love to be drawn into any detailed 
accounts of what he had seen, or whither he had been ; an habitual, 
though a gentle reserve, kept watch over the past — not, indeed, that 
character of reserve which excites the doubt, but which inspires the 
interest. His most gloomy moods were rather abrupt and fitful 
than morose, and his usual bearing was calm, soft, and even 
tender. 

There is a certain charm about great superiority of intellect that 
winds into deep affections, which a much more constant and even 
amiability of manners in lesser men often fails to reach. Genius 
makes many enemies, but it makes sure friends— friends who for- 
give much, who endure long, who exact little ; they partake of the 
character of disciples as well as friends. There lingers about the 
human heart a strong inclination to look upward — 1& revere : in 
this inclination lies the source of religion, of loyalty, and also of 
the worship and immortality which are rendered so cheerfully to 
the great of old. And, in truth, it is a divine pleasure ! admira- 
tion seems in some measure to appropriate to ourselves the qualities 
it honours in others. We wed, — we root ourselves to the natures 
we so love to contemplate, and their life grows a part of our own. 
Thus when a great man, who has engrossed our thoughts, our con- 
jectures, our homage, dies, a gap seems suddenly left in the world ; 
a wheel in the mechanism of our own being appears abruptly 
stilled ; a portion of ourselves, and not our worst portion, — for how 



*5 EaUKXK AKA.M. 

many pure, high, generous sentiments it contains,— dies with him ! 
Yes ! it is this love, so rare, so exalted, and so denied to all or- 
dinary men, which is the especial privilege of greatness, whether 
that greatness be shown in wisdom, in enterprise, in virtue, or 
even, till the world learns better, in the more daring and lofty 
order of crime. A Socrates may claim it to-day — a Napoleon to- 
morrow ; nay, a brigand chief, illustrious in the circle in which he 
lives, may call it forth no less powerfully than the generous fail- 
ings of a Byron, or the_ sublime excellence of the greater Milton. 

Lester saw with evident complacency the passion growing up 
between his friend and his daughter : he looked upon it as a tie 
that would permanently reconcile Aram to the hearth of social and 
domestic life ; a tie that would constitute the happiness of his 
daughter, and secure to himself a relation in the man he felt most 
inclined, of all he knew, to honour and esteem. He remarked in 
the gentleness and calm temper of Aram much that was calculated 
to insure domestic peace ; and, knowing the peculiar disposition of 
Madeline, he felt that she was exactly the person, not only to bear 
with the peculiarities of the student, but to venerate their source. 
In short, the more he contemplated the idea of this alliance, the 
more he was charmed with its probability. 

Musing on this subject, the good squire was one day walking in 
his garden, when he perceived his nephew at some distance, and 
remarked that Walter, on seeing him, instead of coming forward 
to meet him, was about to turn down an alley in an opposite 
direction. 

A little pained at this, and remembering that "Walter had of late 
seemed estranged from himself, and greatly altered from the high 
and cheerful spirits natural to his temper, Lester called to his 
nephew ; and Walter, reluctantly and slowly changing his purpose 
of avoidance, advanced and met him. 

" "Why, Walter ! " said the uncle, taking his arm, " this is 
somewhat unkind to shun me ; are you engaged in any pursuit 
that requires secrecy or haste ? " 

"No, indeed, sir!" said Walter, with some embarrassment; 
" but I thought you seemed wrapped in reflection, and would 
naturally dislike being disturbed." 

" Hem ! As to that, I have no reflections I wish concealed from 
you, Walter, or which might not bo benefited by your advice." 
The youth pressed his uncle's hand, but made no reply ; and 
Lester, after a pause, continued : — 

' I am delighted to think, Walter, that you seem entirely to 
have overcome the unfavourable prepossession which at first you 
testified towards our excellent neighbour. And, for my part, I 
think he appears to be especially attracted towards yourself: he 
seeks your company: and to me he always speaks of you in 
terms which, coming from such a quarter, give me the most lively 
gratification." 

Walter bowed his head, but not in the delighted vanity with 
which a young man generally receives the as3urance of another's 
praise 



£UUKNI>. AHAM. <9 

" I own," renewed Lester. " that I consider our friendship with 
Aram one of the most fortunate occurrences in my life ; at least,*'' 
added he, with a sigh, " of late_ years. I doubt not hut you must 
have observed the partiality with which our dear Madeline evi- 
dently regards him ; and yet more, the attachment to her which 
breaks forth from Aram, in spite of his> habitual reserve and self- 
control. You have surely noted this, "Waiter ?" 

" I have," said "Walter, in a low tone, and turning away his 
head. 

" And doubtless you share my satisfaction. It happens for- 
tunately now, that Madeline early contracted that studious and 
thoughtful turn, which, I must own, at one time gave me some 
uneasiness and vexation. It has taught her to appreciate the 
value of a mind like Aram's. Formerly, my dear boy, I hoped 
that at one time or another she and yourself might form a dearer 
connection than that of cousins. But I was disappointed, and I 
am now consoled. And indeed I think there is that in Ellinor 
which might be yet more calculated to render you happy ; that is, 
if the bias of your mind should ever lean that way." 

" You are very good," said "Walter, bitterly. " I own I am not 
flattered by your selection ; nor do I see why the plainer and less 
brilliant of the two sisters must necessarily be the titter for me." 

" Nay," replied Lester, piqued, and justly angry; " I do not 
think, even if Madeline have the advantage of her sister, that you 
can find any fault with the personal or mental attractions of 
Ellinor. But, indeed, this is not a matter in which relations 
should interfere. I am far from any wish to prevent you from 
choosing throughout the world any one whom you may prefer. 
All I hope is, that your future wife will be like Ellinor in 
kindness of heart and sweetness of temper." 

"From choosing throughout the world!" repeated Walter: 
" and how in this nook am I to see the world?" 

" "Walter, your voice is reproachful ! — Do I deserve it ?" 

"Walter was silent. 

" I have of late observed," continued Lester, " and with 
wounded feelings, that you do not give me the same confidence, or 
meet me with the same affection, that you once delighted me by 
manifesting towards me. I know of no cause for this change. 
Do not let us, my son, for I may so call you — do not let us, as we 
grow older, grow also more apart. Time divides with a sufficient 
demarcation the young from the old ; why deepen the necessary 
line ? You know well, that I have never from your childhood 
insisted heavily on a guardian's authority. I have always loved 
to contribute to your enjoyments, and shown you how devoted I 
am to your interests, by the very frankness with which I have 
consulted you on my own. If there be now on your mind any 
secret grievance, or any secret wish, speak it, "Walter, — you are 
alone with the friend on earth who loves you best ! " 

"Walter was wholly overcome by this address ; he pressed hie 
good uncle's hand to his lips, and it was some moments before ho 
mustered self- composure sufficient to reply. 



*C EUGENE AKAM. 

" You have ever, ever been to me all that the kindest parent, 
the tenderest Mend, could have been : — believe me, I am not 
ungrateful. If of late I have been altered, the cause is not in you. 
I^et me speak freely : you encourage me to do so. I am young, 
lay temper is restless : I have a love of enterprise and adventure : 
13 it lot natural that I should long to see the world? This is the 
Sause of my late abstraction of mind. I have now told you all : it 
is for you to decide." 

Lester looked wistfully on his nephew's countenance before hs 
replied — 

" It is as I gathered," said he, " from various remarks which 
you have lately let fall. I cannot blame your wish to leave us ; it 
is certainly natural : nor can I oppose it. Go, Walter, when 
you will." 

The young man turned round with a lighted eye and flushed 
cheek. 

" And why, "Walter," said Lester, interrupting his thanks, 
" why this surprise ; why this long doubt of my affection ? Could 
you believe I should refuse a wish that, at your age, I should have 
expressed myself? You have wronged me ; you might have saved 
a world of pain to us both by acquainting me with your desire 
when it was first formed : but, enough. I see Madeline and Aram 
approach, — let us join them now, and to-morrow we will arrange 
the time and method of your departure." 

" Forgive me, sir," said "Walter, stopping abruptly as the glow 
faded from his cheek, " I have not yet recovered myself; I am not 
fit for other society than yours. Excuse my joining my cousin, 
and " 

" "Walter ! " said Lester, also stopping short, and looking full on 
his nephew; "a painful thought Hashes upon me! Would to 
Heaven I may be wrong ! — Have you ever felt for Madeline more 
tenderly than for her sister ? " 

Walter literally trembled as he stood. The tears rushed into 
Lester's eyes : — he grasped his nephew's hand warmly, — 

" God comfort thee, my poor boy ! " said he, with great emotion ; 
" I never dreamed of this. ' 

Walter felt now that he was understood. He gratefully returned 
the pressure of his uncle's hand, and then, withdrawing his own, 
darted down one of the intersecting walks, and was almost instantly 
out of sight. 



KneiiKK ARAM. 61 



CHAPTER IX. 

TH? STATE OF WALTER'S MIND.— AN ANGLER AND A MAN OF THB 
WORLD.— A COMPANION FOUND FOB WALTER. 



This great disease for love I dre,* 

There is no tongue can tell the woe ; 
I love the love that loves not me, 

I may not mend, but mourning mo. 

The Mourning Maiden. 

I in these flowery meads would be. 

These crystal streams should solace me, 

To whose harmonious bubbling voice, 

I with my angle would rejoice. — Izaak Walton. 

When "Walter left his uncle, he hurried, scarcely conscious of 
his steps, towards his favourite haunt by the water-side. From a 
child he had singled out that scene as the witness of his early sor- 
rows or boyish schemes ; and still, the solitude of the place cherished 
the habits of his boyhood. 

Long had he, unknown to himself, nourished an attachment to> 
his beautiful cousin ; nor did he awaken to the secret of his heart, 
until, with an agonising jealousy, he penetrated the secret at her 
own. The reader has, doubtless, already perceived that it was this 
jealousy which at the first occasioned "Walter's dislike to Aram : the 
consolation of that dislike was forbid him now. The gentleness and 
forbearance of the student's deportment had taken away all ground 
of offence ; and Walter had sufficient generosity to acknowledge 
his merits, while tortured by their effect. Silently, till this day, he 
had gnawed his heart, and found for its despair no confidant and 
no comfort. The only wish that he cherished was a feverish and 
gloomy desire to leave the scene which witnessed the triumph ot 
his rival. Everything around had become hateful to his eyes, and 
a curse had lighted upon the face of home. He thought now, with 
a bitter satisfaction, that his escape was at hand ; in a few days he 
might be rid of the gall and the pang which every moment of his 
stay at Grassdale inflicted upon him. The sweet voice of Madeline 
he should hear no more, subduing its silver sound for his rival's 
ear : — no more he should watch apart, and himself unheeded, how 
timidly her glance roved in search of another, or how vividly her 
cheek flushed when the step of that happier one approached. Many 
miles would at least shut out this picture from his view ; and in. 
absence, was it not possible that he might teach himself to forget i 
Thus meditating, he arrived at the banks of the little brooklet, and 
was awakened m,m his reverie by the sound of his own name. He 
started, and taw the old corporal seated on the stump of a tree, and 
busily employed in fixing to his line the mimic likeness of what 

* Bear. 



i 2 EUGENE AKAM. 

t nglers, and, for aught we know, the rest of the world, call the 
'violet-fly." 

" Ha ! master, — at my day's work, you see ; — fit for nothing else 
now. When a musket's half worn out, schoolboys buy it — pop it 
at sparrows. I be like the musket ! but never mind — have not 
seen the world for nothing. We get reconciled to all things : that's 
my way — augh ! Now, sir, you shall watch me catch the finest 
trout you have seen this summer : know where he lies — under the 
bush yonder. Whi — sh ! sir, whi — sh ! " 

The corporal now gave his warrior soul up to the due guidance 
of the violet-fly : now he whipped it lightly on the wave ; now he 
slid it coquettishly along the surface ; now it floated, like an uncon- 
scious beauty, carelessly with the tide ; and now, like an artful 
prude, it affected to loiter by the way, or to steal into designing 
obscurity under the shade of some overhanging bank. But none of 
these manoeuvres captivated the wary old trout, on whose acquisi- 
tion the corporal had set his heart ; and, what was especially pro- 
voking, the angler could see distinctly the dark outline of the 
intended victim, as it lay at the bottom, — like some well-regulated 
bachelor, who eyes from afar the charms he has discreetly resolved 
to neglect. 

The corporal waited till he could no longer blind himself to the 
displeasing fact that the violet-fly was wholly inefficacious ; he 
then drew up his line, and replaced the contemned beauty of the 
piolet-fly with the novel attractions of the yellow-dun. 

"Now, sir," whispered he, lifting up his finger, and nodding 
; sagaciously to Walter. Softly dropped the yellow-dun on the 
water, and swiftly did it glide before the gaze of the latent trout: 
i End now the trout seemed aroused from his apathy, behold he 
moved forward, balancing himself upon his fins ; now he slowly 
ascended towards the surface : you might see all the speckles of his 
coat : — the corporal's heart stood still — he is now at a convenient 
distance from the yellow-dun ; lo, he surveys it steadfastly ; he 
ponders, he see-saws himself to and fro. The yellow-dun sails 
away in affected indifference ; that indifference whets the appetite 
of the hesitating gazer ; he darts forwards ; he is opposite the 
yellow-dun, — he pushes his nose against it with an eager rudeness, 
— he — no, he does not bite, he recoils, he gazes again with surprise 
and suspicion on the little charmer ; he fades back slowly into the 
deeper water, and then, suddenly turning his tail towards the dis- 
appointed bait, he makes off as fast as he can, — yonder, — yonder, 
and disappears ! No, that's he leaping yonder from the wave : 
Jupiter ! what a noble fellow ! what leaps he at ? — A real fly ! 
" I) — n his eyes ! " growled the corporal. 

"You might have caught him with a minnow," said Walter 
speaking for the first time. 

" Minnow ! " repeated the corporal, gruffly ; " ask your honour's 
pardon. Minnow ! — I have fished with the yellow-dun these 
twenty years, and never knew it fail before. Minnow ! — baugh ! 
I hit ask pardon ; your honour is very welcomu to fish with a 
triinnow, if you please it." 



EVQF.tsii Will. t>± 

'Thaak you, Bunting. And pray what sport Have you haj 
to-day." 

"On, — good, good," quoth the corporal, snatching up his basket 
and closing the cover, lest the young squire should pry into it. 
No man is more tenacious of his secrets than your true angler 
" Sent the best home two hours ago ; one weighed three pounds, on 
the faith of a man ; indeed, I'm satisfied now ; time to give up :' 
and the corporal began to disjoint his rod. 

"Ah, sir!" said he, with a half-sigh, " a pretty river this— 
don't mean to say it is not ; but the river Lea for my money. You 
know the Lea ? — not a morning's walk from Lunnun. Mary Gib- 
son, my first sweetheart, lived by the bridge, — caught such a 
trout there, by the bye ! — had beautiful eyes— black, round as a 
cherry — five feet eight without shoes — might have 'listed in th« 
forty-second." 

"Who, Bunting?" said "Walter, smiling; "the lady or th« 
trout?" 

"Augh! — baugh ! — what? Oh, laughing at me, your honour; 
you're welcome, sir. Love 's a silly thing — know the world now— 
have not fallen in love these ten years. I doubt — no offence, sir, na 
offence — I doubt whether your honour and Miss Ellinor can say 
as much." 

" I and Miss Ellinor ! — you forget yourself strangely, Bunting," 
said "Walter, colouring with anger. 

" Beg pardon, sir, beg pardon — rough soldier — lived away from 
the world so long, words slipped out of my mouth — absent without 
leave." 

" But, why," said "Walter, smothering or conquering his vexa- 
tion, — " why couple me with Miss Ellinor ? Did you imagine that 
we — ve were in love with each other ?" 

" Indeed, sir, and if I did, 'tis no more than my neighbours 
imagine too." 

" Humph ! Your neighbours are very silly, then, and very 
wrong." 

"Beg pardon, sir, again — always getting askew. Indeed some 
did say it was Miss Madeline ; but I says, says I, — ' No ! I'm a 
man of the world — see through a millstone; Miss Madeline's too 
t a-sy like ; Miss Nelly blushes when he speaks :' scarlet is Love's 
regimentals — it was ours in the forty-second, edged with yellow — 
pepper-and-salt pantaloons ? For my part I think, — but I've no 
business to think, howsomever — baugh ! " 

" Pray what do you think, Mr. Bunting ? Why do you 
hesitate?" 

" Traid of offence — but I do think that Master Aram — your 
honour understands — howsomever, squire's daughter too great a 
match for such as he ! " , 

Walter did not answer ; and the garrulous old soldier, v. !io had 
been the young man's playmate and companion since Walter was a 
boy, and was therefore accustomed to the familiarity with which he 
now spoke, continued mingling with his abrupt prolixity an occa- 
sional shrewdness of observation, which showed that he was na 



M EUGENE A1UM. 

inattentive commentator on the little and quiet world around 
him, — 

" Free to confess, Squire Walter, that I don't quite like this 
larned man as much as the rest of 'em — something queer about 
him— can't see to the bottom of him— don't think he's quite so 
meek and lamblike as he seems : — once saw a calm, dead pool in 
foren parts — peered down into it — by little and little, my eye got 
used to it — saw something' dark at the bottom— stared and stared — 
by Jupiter — a great big alligator ! — walked off immediately — never 
liked quiet pools since — augh, no ! " 

"An argument against quiet pools, perhaps, Bunting; but 
scarcely against quiet people." 

" Don't know as to that, your honour— much of a muchness. I 
have seen Master Aram, demure as he looks, start, and bite his 
lip, and change colour, and frown — he has an ugly frown, I can 
tell ye, — when he thought no one nigh. A man who gets in a 
passion with himself may be soon out of temper with others. 
Free to confess, I should not like to see him married to that stately, 
beautiful, young lady — but they do gossip about it in the village. 
If it is not true, better put the squire on his guard — false rumours 
often beget truths — beg pardon, your honour — no business of mine — 
baugh ! But I'm a lone man, who have seen the world, and I 
thinks on the things around me, and I turns over the quid — now 
on this side, now on the other — 'tis my way, sir — and — but I offend 
your honour." 

" Not at all ; I know you are an honest man, Bunting, and well 
affected to our family : at the same time, it is neither prudent nor 
charitable to speak harshly of our neighbours without sufficient 
cause. And really you seem to me to be a little hasty in your 
judgment of a man so inoffensive in his habits, and so justly and 
generally esteemed, as Mr. Aram." 

" May be, sir — may be, — very right what you say. But I thinks 
what I thinks all the same ; and, indeed, it is a thing that puzzles 
me, how that strange -looking vagabond, as frighted the ladies so, 
and who, Miss Nelly told me — for she saw them in his pocket — 
carried pistols about him, as if he had been among cannibals and 
Hottentots, instead of the peaceablest county that man ever set 
foot in, should boast of his friendship with this larned schollard, 
and pass I dare swear a whole night in his house ! Birds of a 
feather flock together — augh ! — sir ! " 

" A man cannot surely be answerable for the respectability of 
all his acquaintances, even though he feel obliged to offer them the 
accommodation of a night's shelter ? " 

" Baugh ! " grunted the corporal. " Seen the world, sir— seen the 
world — young gentlemen are always so good-natured ; 'tis a pity, 
that the more one sees the more suspicious one grows. One does 
not have gumption till one has been properly cheated — one must 
be made a fool very often in order not to be fooled at last ! " 

" Well, corpora], I shall now have opportunities enough of pro- 
fiting by experience. I am going to leave Grassdale in a few days, 
smd learn suspicion and wisdom in the great world." 



EUGENE AHAM. 66 

"Augh! Laugh! — what?" cried the corporal, starting from the 
contemplative air which he had hitherto assumed, "The great 
world? — how? — when? — going away? — who goes with your ho- 
nour ?" 

"My honour's self; I have no companion, unless you liketo 
attend me," said Walter, jestingly ; but the corporal aft'ected, with 
his natural shrewdness, to take the proposition m earnest. 

" I ! your honour's too good; and, indeed, though I say it, sir 
you might do worse : not but what I should be sorry to leave nice 
snug home here, and this stream, though the trout have been shy 
lately, — ah ! that was a mistake of yours, sir, recommending the 
minnow ; and neighbour Dealtry, though his ale's not so good as 
'twas last year; and— and — but, in short, I always loved your 
honour — dandled you on my knees ; — you recollect the broadsword 
exercise ! — one, two, three — augh ! baugh ! — and if your honour 
really is goin^, why, rather than you should want a proper person, 
who knows the world, to brush your coat, polish your shoes, give 
you good advice— on the faith of a man, I'll go with you 
myself!" 

This alacrity on the part of the corporal was far from displeasing 
to Walter. The proposal he had at first made unthinkingly, he now 
seriously thought advisable ; and at length it was settled that the 
corporal should call the next morning at the manor house, and 
receive instructions to conclude arrangements for the journey. 
Not forgetting, as the sagacious Bunting delicately insinuated, 
" the wee settlements as to wages, and board-wages, more a matter 
of form, like, than anything else — augh ! " 



CHAPTER X. 

THE LOVEE8.— THE ENCOUNTER AND QUABEEL OF THE BIVAL8. 



Two such I saw, what time the labour'd oz, 

In his loose traces from the furrow came. — Comus. 

Pedro. Now do me noble right. 
Rod. I'll satisfy you ; 
But not by the sword. 

Beaumont and Fletcher : " The Pilgrim.' 



While Walter and the corporal enjoyed the above conversation, 
Madeline and Aram, whom Lester left to themselves, were pursu- 
ing their walk along the solitary fields. Their love had passed 
from the eye to the lip, and now found expression in words. 

" Observe," said he, as the li^,ht touch of one, who he felt loved 
him entirely, rested on his arm, — " Observe, as the later summer 
now begins to breathe a more various and mellow glory into the 
landscape, how siis-ularly pure and lucid the atmosphere become*. 



66 ECTOF.NE AfU.j* 

When,two months ago, in the full flush of June, I walked through 
these fields, a grey mist hid yon distant hills and the far forest 
from my view. Now, with what a transparent stillness the whole 
expanse of scenery spreads itself before us. And such, Madeline, 
is the change that has come over myself since that time. Then if 
I looked beyond the limited present, all was dim and indistinct. 
Now, the mist has faded away — the broad, future extends before 
me, calm and bright with the hope which is borrowed from your 
love ! " 

We will not tax the patience of the reader, who seldom enters 
with keen interest into the mere dialogue of love, with the blush- 
ing Madeline's reply, or with all the soft vows and tender confes- 
sions which the rich poetry of Aram's mind made yet more delicious 
to the ear of his dreaming and devoted mistress. 

" There is one circumstance," said Aram, " which casts a momen- 
tary shade on the happiness I enjoy — my Madeline probahly 
guesses its nature. I regret to see that the blessing of your love 
must be purchased by the misery of another, and that other, the 
nephew of my kind friend. You have doubtless observed the 
melancholy of Walter Lester, and have long since known its 
origin ? " 

"Indeed, Eugene," answered Madeline, "it has given me great 
pain to note what you refer to, for it would be a false delicacy in 
me to deny that I have observed it. But Walter is young and 
high-spirited ; nor do I think he is of a nature to love long where 
there is no return ! " 

"And what," said Aram, sorrowfully, — "what deduction from 
reason can ever apply to love ? Love is a very contradiction of all 
the elements of our ordinary nature : it makes the proud man 
meek, — the cheerful, sad, — the high-spirited, tame ; our strongest 
resolutions, our hardiest energy, fail before it. Believe me, you 
cannot prophesy of its future effect in a man from any knowledge 
of his past character. I grieve to think that the blow falls upon 
one in early youth, ere the world's disappointments have blunted 
the heart, or the world's numerous interests have multiplied its 
resources. Men's minds have been turned when they have not well 
sifted the cause themselves, and their fortunes marred, by one 
stroke_ on the affections of their youth. So at least have I read, 
Madeline, and so marked in others. For myself, I knew nothing 
of love in its reality till I knew you. But who can know you, and 
not sympathise with him who has lost you ?" 

" Ah, Eugene ! you at least overrate the influence which love 
produces on men. A little resentment and a little absence will 
soon cure my cousin of an ill-placed and ill-requited attachment. 
You do not think how easy it is to forget." 

" Forget ! " said Aram . stopping abruptly ; "ay, forget — it is a 
strange truth ! we do for^ et ! The summer passes over the furrow, 
and the corn springs up ; the sod forgets the flower of the past 
year ; the battle-field forg ?ts the blood that has been spilt upon its 
turf ; the sky forgets the storm ; and the wate' • the noonday sun 
that slept upon its bosom, All Natv-ve preaches forgetfulness. It* 



JSUGEA'K ABAS. 67 

very order is the progress of oblivion. And I — I — give me your 
hand, Madeline — I, ha ! ha ! I forget too ! " 

As Aram spoke thus wildly, his countenance worked ; but his 
voice was slow, and scarcely audible ; he seemed rather conferring 
with himself, than addressing Madeline. But when his words 
ceased, and he felt the soft hand of his betrothed, and, turning, 
saw her anxious and wistful eyes fixed in alarm, yet in all unsus- 
pecting confidence, on his face, his features relaxed into their usual 
serenity ; and kissing the hand he clasped, he continued, in a 
collected and steady tone, — 

"Forgive me, my sweetest Madeline. These fitful and strange 
moods sometimes come upon me yet. I have been so long in the 
habit of pursuing any train of thought, however wild, that presents 
itself to my mind, that I cannot easily break it, even in your 
presence. All studious men — the twilight eremites of books and 
closets, contract this ungraceful custom of soliloquy. You know 
our abstraction is a common jest and proverb : you must laugh me 
out of it. But stay, dearest ! — there is a rare herb at your feet, let 
me gather it. So, do you note its leaves — this bending and silver 
flower ? Let us rest on this bank, and I will tell you of its quali- 
ties. Beautiful as it is, it has a poison." 

The place in which the lovers rested is one which the villagers to 
this day call "The Lady's Seat;" for Madeline, whose history is 
fondly preserved in that district, was afterwards wont constantly 
to repair to that bank (during a short absence of her lover, here- 
after to be noted), and subsequent events stamped with interest 
every spot she was known to have favoured with resort. And when 
the flower had been duly conned, and the study dismissed, Aram, 
to whom all the signs of the seasons were familiar, pointed to her 
the thousand symptoms of the month which are unheeded by less 
observant eyes ; not forgetting, as they thus reclined, their hands 
clasped together, to couple each remark with some allusion to his 
love, or some deduction which heightened compliment into poetry. 
He bade her mark the light gossamer as it floated on the air ; now 
soaring high — high into the translucent atmosphere ; now suddenly 
stooping, and sailing away beneath the boughs, which ever and 
anon it hung with a silken web, that by the next morn would 
glitter with a thousand dewdrops. " And so," said he, fancifully, 
" does Love lead forth its numberless creations, making the air its 
path and empire ; ascending aloof at its wild will, hanging its 
meshes on every bough, and bidding the common grass break into 
a fairy lustre at the beam of the daily sun ! " 

He pointed to her the spot, where, in the silent brake, the hare- 
bells, now waxing rare and few, yet lingered — or where the mystic 
ring on the soft turf conjured up the associations of Oberon and 
his train. That superstition gave license and play to his full 
memory and glowing fancy ; and Shakspeare — Spenser — Ariosto — 
the magic of each mighty master of Fairy Realm — he evoked, and 
poured into her transported ear. It was precisely such arts, which 
to a gayer and more worldly nature than Madeline's might have 
•eemed but wearisome, that arrested and won her imaginative and 



-58 EUGENE AliAM. 

high-wrought mind. And thus he, who to another might have 
proved but the retired and moody student, became to her the very 
fieing of whom her " maiden meditation " had dreamed — the mas- 
ter and magician of her fate. 

Aram did not return to the house with Madeline ; he accom- 
panied her to the garden-gate, and then, taking leave of her, bent 
his way homeward. He had gained the entrance of the little 
valley that led to his abode, when he saw Walter cross his path at 
a short distance. His heart, naturally susceptible to kindly emo- 
tion, smote him as he remarked the moody listlessness of the young 
man's step, and recalled the buoyant lightness it was once wont 
habitually to wear. He quickened his pace, and joined Walter 
before the latter was aware of his presence. 

"Good evening," said he, mildly; "if you are going my way 
give me the benefit of your company." 

" My path lies yonder," replied Walter, somewhat sullenly; "I 
regret that it is different from yours." 

" In that case," said Aram, " I can delay my return home, anc 
will, with your leave, intrude my society upon you for some fe^ 
minutes." 

Walter bowed his head in reluctant assent. They walked on foi 
some moments without speaking, the one unwilling, the othei 
seeking an occasion, to break the silence. 

" This, to my mind," said Aram, at length, "is the most pleas' 
ing landscape in the whole country ; observe the bashful watei 
stealing away among the woodlands. Methinks the wave is 
endowed with an instinctive wisdom, that it thus shuns th< 
world." 

" Rather," said Walter, " with the love for change which exists 
everywhere in nature, it does not seek the shade until it has passed 
by ' towered cities,' and ' the busy hum of men.' " 

" I admire the shrewdness of your reply," rejoined Aram ; "bui 
note how far more pure and lovely are its waters in these retreats, 
than when washing the walls of the reeking town, receiving intc 
its breast the taint of a thousand pollutions, vexed by the sound, 
nnd stench, and unholy perturbation of men's dwelling-place, 
Now it glasses only what is high or beautiful in nature — the atari 
or the leafy banks. The wind that ruffles it is clothed with per- 
fumes; the rivulet that swells it descends from the everlasting 
mountains, or is formed by the rains of Heaven. Believe me, ii 
is the type of a life that glides into solitude, from the weariness 
and fretful turmoil of the world. 

■ No flattery, hate, or envy lodgeth there. 
There no suspicion walled in proved steel, 
Yet fearful of the arms herself doth wear ; 
Pride is not there ; no tyrant there we feel.' " * 

" I will not cope with you in simile, or in poetry," said Walter, 
as his lip curved ; "it is enough for me to think that life should 
be spent inaction. I hasten to prove if my judgment be erroneous.' 

* Phineas Fletcher. 



EUGENE ARAM. 69 

" Are you, then, about to leave us ? " inquired Aram. 

" Yes, within a few days." 

" Indeed ! I regret to hear it." 

The answer sounded jarringly on the irritated nerves of the dis- 
appointed rival. 

" You do me more honour than I desire," said he, "in interesting 
yourself, however lightly, in my schemes or fortune." 

"Young man," replied Aram, coldly, "I never see the impetuous 
and yearning spirit of youth without a certain, and, it may he, a 
painful interest. How feeble is the chance that its hopes will be 
fulfilled ! Enough if it lose not all its loftier aspirings, as well as 
its brighter expectations." 

Nothing more aroused the proud_ and fiery temper of "Walter 
Lester than the tone of superior wisdom and superior age which 
his rival sometimes assumed towards him. More and more dis- 
pleased with his present companion, he answered, in no conciliatory 
tone, " I cannot but consider the warning and the fears of one, 
neither my relation nor my friend, in the light of a gratuitous 
affront." 

Aram smiled as he answered, — 

" There is no occasion for resentment. Preserve this hot spirit 
and this high self-confidence, till you return again to these scenes, 
and I shall be at once satisfied and corrected." 

" Sir," said Walter, colouring and irritated more by the smile 
than the words of his rival, " I am not aware by what right or on 
what ground you assume towards me the superiority, not only of 
admonition, but reproof ! My uncle's preference towards you gives 
you no authority over me. That preference I do not pretend to 
share." — He paused for a moment, thinking Aram might hasten to 
reply ; but as the student walked on with his usual calmness of 
demeanour, he added, stung by the indifference which he attributed, 
not altogether without truth, to disdain, — " And since you have 
taken upon yourself to caution me, and to forebode my inability to 
resist the contamination, as you would term it, of the world, I tell 
you, that it may be happy for you to bear so clear a conscience, so 
untouched a spirit, as that which I now boast, and with which I 
Trust in God and my own soul I shall return to my birthplace. 
It is not the holy only that love solitude ; and men may shun the 
world from another motive than that of philosophy." 

It was now Aram's turn to feel resentment ; and this was indeed 
an insinuation not only unwarrantable in itself, but one which a 
man of so peaceable and guileless a life, affecting even an extreme 
and rigid austerity of morals, might well be tempted to repel with 
scorn and indignation ; and Aram, however meek and forbearing 
in general, testified in this instance that his wonted gentleness 
arose from no lack of man's natural spirit. He laid his hand com- 
mandingly on young Lester's shoulder, and surveyed his counte- 
nance with a dark and menacing frown. 

"Boy," said he, " were there meaning in your words, I should 
(mark me !) avenge the insult ; — as it is, I despise it. Go ! " 

So high and lofty was Aram's manner — so majestic was the stern* 



ness of his rebuke, and the dignity of his bearing, as, waving his 
hand, he now turned away, that Walter lost his self-possession and 
stood fixed to the spot, abashed, and humbled from his late anger. 
It was not till Aram had moved with a slow step several paces 
backward toward his home, that the bold and haughty temper of 
the young man returned to his aid. Ashamed of himself for the 
momentary weakness he had betrayed, and burning to redeem it, 
he hastened after the stately form of Ms rival, and, planting him- 
self full in his path, said, in a voice half-choked with contending 
emotions, — 

"Hold! — you have given me the opportunity I have long de- 
sired ; you yourself have now broken that peace which existed 
between us, and which to me was more bitter than wormwood. 
You have dared, — yes, dared to use threatening language towards 
me ! I call on you to fulfil your threat. I tell you that I meant, 
I desired, I thirsted to affront you. Now resent my purposed, 
premeditated affront, as you will and can !" 

There was something remarkable in the contrasted figures of the 
rivals, as they now stood fronting each other. The elastic and 
vigorous form of Walter Lester, his sparkling eyes, his sunburnt 
and glowing cheek, his clenched hands, and his whole frame alive 
and eloquent with the energy, toe heat, the hasty courage, and 
fiery spirit of youth : on the other hand, the bending frame ol 
the student, gradually rising into the dignity of its full height— 
his pale cheek, in which the wan hues neither deepened nor waned, 
his large eye raised to meet Walter's, bright, steady, and yet how 
calm ! Nothing weak, nothing irresolute, could be traced in that 
form or that lofty countenance ; yet all resentment had vanished 
from his aspect. He seemed at once tranquil and prepared. 

"You designed to affront me!" said he; "it is well — it is a 
noble confession ; — and wherefore ? What do you propose to gain by 
it ? A man whose whole life is peace, you would provoke to out- 
rage ? Would there be triumph in this, or disgrace ? A man, whom 
your uncle honours and loves, you would insult without cause — 
you would waylay — you would, after watching and creating your 
opportunity, entrap into defending himself. Is this worthy of that 
high spirit of which you boasted ! — is this worthy a generous 
anger, or a noble hatred ? Away ! you malign yourself. I shrink 
from no quarrel — why should I ? I have nothing to fear : my 
nerves are firm — my heart is faithful to my will ; my habits may 
have diminished my strength, but it is yet equal to that of mosl 
men. As to the weapons of the world, they fall not to my use. 
I might be excused, by the most punctilious, for rejecting whal 
becomes neither my station nor my habits of life ; but I learned 
thus much from books long since, ' Hold thyself prepared for all 
things ; ' — I am so prepared. And as I command the spirit, I lack 
not the skill, to defend myself, or return the hostility of another." 
As Aram thus said, he drew a pistol from his bosom : and pointed 
it leisurely towards a tree, at the distance of some paces. 

"Look," said he "you note that small discoloured and whits 



TLU. l.NK ARAM 6\ 

rtain in tlit- bark — you can but just observe it; — he who can send 
a bullet through that spot, need not fear to meet the quarrel 
which he seeks to avoid." 

Walter turned mechanically, and indignant, though silent, to- 
wards the tree. Aram fired, and the ball penetrated the centre of 
the stain. He then replaced the pistol in his bosom, and said — 

" Early in life I had many enemies, and I taught myself these 
arts. From habit, I still bear about me the weapons I trust and pray 
I may never have occasion to use. But to return. I have offended 
you — I have incurred your hatred — why ? What are my sins ?" 

"Do you ask the cause?" said Walter, speaking between his 
ground teeth. "Have you not traversed my views — blighted my 
hopes — charmed away from me the affections which were more to 
me than the world, and driven me to wander from my home with 
a crushed spirit and a cheerless heart ? Are these no causes for 
hate ?" 

" Have I done this ? " said Aram, recoiling, and evidently and 
powerfully affected. " Have I so injured you ? — It is true ! I 
know it — I perceive it — I read it in your heart ; and — bear witness 
Heaven ! — I feel for the wound that I, but with no guilty hand, 
inflict upon you. Yet be just : — ask yourself, have I done aught 
that you, in my case, would have left undone ? Have I been in- 
solent in triumph, or haughty in success ? If so, hate me, nay, 
spurn me, now." 

Walter turned his head irresolutely away. 

" If it please you, that I accuse myself, in that I, a man seared 
and lone at heart, presumed to come within the pale of human 
affections : — that I exposed myself to cross another's better and 
brighter hopes, or dared to soften my /ate with the tender and 
endearing ties that are meet alone for a more genial and 
youthful nature ; — if it please you that I accuse and curse my- 
self for this — that I yielded to it with pain and self-reproach — 
that I shall think hereafter of what I unconsciously cost you, 
with remorse — then be consoled." 

" It is enough," said Walter ; " let us part. I leave you with 
more soreness at my late haste than I will acknowledge ; let that 
content you : for myself, I ask for no apology or " 

" But you shall have it amply," interrupted Aram, advancing 
with a cordial openness of mien not usual to him. _ " I was all 
to blame ; I should have remembered you were an injured man, 
and suffered you to have said all you would. Words at best are 
but a poor vent for a wronged and burning heart. It shall be so 
in future : speak your will, attack, upbraid, taunt me, I will bear 
it all. And, indeed, even to myself there appears some witchcraft, 
some glamoury, in what has chanced. What ! I favoured where 
you love ? Is it possible ? It might teach the vainest to forswear 
vanity. You, the young, the buoyant, the fresh, the beautiful ! — 
And I, who have passed the glory and zest of life between dusty 
walls ; I who — well, well, Fate laughs at probabilities ! " 

Aram now seemed relapsing into one of his more abstracted 



62 EUGENE ARAM. 

moods ; he ceased to speak aloud, but his lips moved, aad his eyes 
grew fixed in reverie on the ground. Walter gazed at him for some 
moments with fixed and contending sensations. Once more resent- 
ment and the bitter wrath of jealousy_ had faded back into the 
remoter depths of his mind, and a certain interest for his singular 
rival, despite of himself, crept into his breast. But this mysterious 
and fitful nature, — was it one in which the devoted Madeline 
would certainly find happiness and repose? — would she never 
regret her choice ? This question obtruded itself upon him, and, 
while he sought to answer it, Aram, regaining his composure, 
turned abruptly and offered him his hand. Walter did not accept 
it ; he bowed with a cold aspect. " I cannot give my hand without 
my heart," said he ; "we were foes just now ; we are not friends 
yet. I am unreasonable in this, I know, but " 

"Be it so," interrupted Aram; "I understand you. I press 
my goodwill on you no more. When this pang is forgotten, when 
this wound is healed, and when you will have learned more of 
him who is now your rival, we may meet again, with other feel- 
ings, on your side." 

Thus they parted, and the solitary lamp which for weeks past 
had been quenched at the wholesome hour in the student's home, 
streamed from the casement throughout the whole of that night : 
was it a witness of the calm and learned vigil, or of the unresting 
heart? 



CHAPTER XI. 

THE FAMILY SUPPER.— THE TWO SISTERS IN THEIR CHAMBER.— A 
MISUNDERSTANDING FOLLOWED BY A CONFESSION. — WALTER'S 
APPROACHING DEPARTURE, AND THE CORPORAL'S BEHAVIOUR 
THEREON. — THE CORPORAL'S FAVOURITE INTRODUCED TO THE 
READER.— THE CORPORAL PROVES HIMSELF A SUBTLE DIPLOMA- 
TIST. 



" So we grew together, 
J jke to a double cherry, seeming parted, 
But yet an union in partition. — Midsummer Night's Dream. 

The corporal had not taken his measures so badly in this stroke of artilleryship. 
— Tristt'tn Shandy. 

It was late that evening when Walter returned home : the little 
family were assembled at the last and lightest meal of the day t 
Ellinor silently made room for her cousin beside herself, and that 
'ittle kindness touched Walter. "Why did I not love kerf" 
thought he ; and he spoke to her in a tone so affectionate, that it 
made her heart thrill with delight. Lester was, on the whole, the 
most pensive of the group ; but the old and young man exchanged 
looks of restored confidence, which, on the part of the former, were 
softened by a pitying tenderness. 



EUGENE AEAM. 

When the cloth was removed, and the servants gone, Lester took 
it on himself to break to the sisters the intended departure of their 
cousin. Madeline received the news with painful blushes, and a 
certain self-reproach ; for even where a woman has no cause to 
blame herself, she in these cases feels a sort of remorse at the 
unhappiness she occasions. But Ellinor rose suddenly and left the 
room. 

" And now," said Lester, " London will, I suppose, be your first 
destination. I can furnish you with letters to some of my old 
friends there : merry fellows they were once : you must take care 
of the prodigality ot their wine. There's John Courtland — ah ! a 
seductive dog to drink with. Be sure and let me know how honest 
John looks, and what he says of me. I recollect him as if it were 
yesterday; a roguish eye, with a moisture in it; full cheeks ; a 
straight nose ; black curled hair ; and teeth as even as dies : — 
honest John showed his teeth pretty often, too :_ ha, ha ! how the 
dog loved a laugh ! Well, and Peter Hales — Sir Peter now, has 
his uncle's baronetcy — a generous, open-hearted fellow as ever 
lived — will ask you very often to dinner — nay, offer you money if 
you want it : but take care he does not lead you into extrava- 
gances : out of debt out of danger, Walter. It would have been 
well for poor Peter Hales, had he remembered that maxim. Often 
and often have I been to see him in the Marshalsea ! but he was 
the heir to good fortunes, though his relations kept him close ; so 

I suppose he is well off now. His estates lie in shire, on your 

road to London ! so, if he is at his country-seat, you can beat up 
his quarters, and spend a month or so with him : a most hospitable 
fellow." 

With these little sketches of his contemporaries the good squire 
endeavoured to while the time, taking, it is true, some pleasure in 
the youthful reminiscences they excited, but chiefly designing to 
enliven the melancholy of his nephew. When, however, Madeline 
had retired, and they were alone, he drew his chair closer to 
Walter's, and changed the conversation into a more serious and 
anxious strain; The guardian and the ward sat up late that night ; 
and when Walter retired to rest, it was with a heart more touched 
by his uncle's kindness than his own sorrows. 

But we are not about to close the day without a glarce at the 
chamber which the two sisters held in common. The night was 
serene and starlit, and Madeline sat by the open window, leaning 
her face upon her hand, and gazing on the lone house of her lover, 
which might be seen afar across the landscape, the trees sleeping 
around it, and one pale and steady light gleaming from its lofty 
casement like a star. 

" He has broken faith," said Madeline ; " I shall chide him for 
this to-morrow. He promised me the light should bo ever quenched 
before this hour." 

" Nay," said Ellinor, in a tone somewhat sharpened from its 
native sweetness, and who now sat up in the bed, the curtain of 
which was h»\f drawn aside, and the soft light of the skies rested 
full upon her rounded neck and youthful countenance, — "nay, Made 



M EUGENE AKAM. 

liae, do not loiter there any longer ; the air grows sharp and cold, 
and the clock struck one several minutes since. Come, sister, 



come 



" I cannot sleep," replied Madeline, sighing, " and think that 
yon light streams upon those studies which steal the healthful hues 
from his cheek, and the very life from his heart." 

'■' Yon are infatuated, — you are bewitched by that man," said 
Ellinor, peevishly. 

" And have I not cause — ample cause ? " returned Madeline, with 
all a girl's beautiful enthusiasm, as the colour mantled her cheek, and 
gave it the only additional loveliness it could receive. " When he 
speaks, is it not like music ? — or rather, what music so arrests and 
touches the heart ? Methinks it is heaven only to gaze upon him, 
to note the changes of that majestic countenance, to set down as 
food for memory every look and every movement. But when the 
look turns to me, — when the voice utters my name, ah ! Ellinor, 
then it is not a wonder that I love him thus much : but that any 
others should think they have known love, and yet not loved him ! 
And, indeed, I feel assured that what the world calls love is not my 
love. Are there more Eugenes in the world than one ? Who but 
Eugene could be loved as I love ?" 

"What! are there none a worthy?" said Ellinor, half- 
smiling. 

" Can you ask it ?" answered Madeline, with a simple wonder in 
her voice : " whom would you compare — compare ! nay, place within 
a hundred grades of the height which Eugene Aram holds in this 
little world?" 

" This is folly — dotage," said Ellinor, indignantly ; "surely 
there are others as brave, as gentle, as kind, and, if not so wise, yet 
more fitted for the world." 

" You mock me," replied Madeline, incredulously ; " whom could 
you select ?" 

Ellinor blushed deeply, — blushed from her snowy temples to her 
yet whiter bosom as she answered,— 

" If I said Walter Leslie, could you deny it ? ' 

" Walter ! " repeated Madeline ; " he equal to Eugene Aram ! " 

" Ay, and more than equal," said Ellinor, with spirit, and a 
warm and angry tone. " And, indeed, Madeline," she continued, 
after a pause, " I lose something of that respect which, passing a 
sister's love, I have always borne towards you, when I see the 
unthinking and lavish idolatry you manifest to one who, but for a 
silver tongue and florid words, would rather want attractions than 
be the wonder you esteem him. Eie, Madeline ! I blush for you 
when you speak ; it is unmaidenly so to love any one ?" 

Madeline rose from the window ; but the angry word died on her 
lips when she saw that Ellinor, who had worked her mind beyond 
her self-control, had thrown herself back on the pillow, and now 
sobbed aloud. 

The natural temper of the elder sister bad always been much 
more calm and even than that of the younger, who united with her 
vivacity something of the passionate caprice and ntfulness of her 



EUGENE A RAM. 63 

sex. And Madeline's affection for her had been tinged by that 
character of forbearance and soothing, which a superior nature 
often manifests to one more imperfect, and which in this instance 
did not desert her. She gently closed the window, and, gliding to 
the bed, threw her arms around her sister's neck, and kissed away 
her tears with a caressing fondness, that if Ellinor resisted for one 
moment, she returned with equal tenderness the next. 

" Indeed, dearest," said Madeline, gently, " I cannot guess how 
I hurt you, and still less how Eugene has offended you ?' 

" Henas offended me in nothing," replied Ellinor, still weeping, 
" if he has not stolen away all your affection from me. But I was 
a foolish girl ; forgive me, as you always do ; and at this time I 
needyour kindness, for I am very, very unhappy." 

" Unhappy, dearest Nell, and why ?" 

Ellinor wept on without answering. 

Madeline persisted in pressing for a reply ; and at length her 
sister sobbed out : — 

" I know that — that— "Walter only has eyes for you, and a heart 
for you, who neglect, who despise his love; and I — I— but no 
matter, he is going to leave us, and of me — poor me, he will think 
no more ! " 

Ellinor's attachment to their cousin, Madeline had long half sus- 
pected, and she had often rallied her sister upon it ; indeed, it 
might have been this suspicion which made her at the first steel 
her breast against Walter's evident preference to herself. But 
Ellinor had never till now seriously confessed how much her heart 
was affected ; and Madeline, in the natural engrossment of her own 
ardent and devoted love, had not of late spared much ohservation 
to the tokens of her sister's. She was therefore dismayed, if not 
surprised, as she now perceived the cause of the peevishness Ellinor 
had just manifested, and by the nature of the love she felt herself, 
she judged, and perhaps somewhat overrated the anguish that 
Ellinor endured. 

She strove to comfort her by all the arguments which the fertile 
ingenuity of kindness could invent ; she prophesied Walter's speedy 
return, with his hoyish disappointment forgotten, and with eyes 
no longer blinded to the attractions of one sister by a bootless fancy 
for another. And though Ellinor interrupted her from time to 
time with assertions, — now of Walter's eternal constancy to his 
present idol, — now, with yet more vehement declarations of the 
certainty of his finding new obiects for his affections in new scenes, 
she yet admitted, by little and little, the persuasive power of Made- 
line' to creep into her heart, and brighten away its griefs with hope, 
till at last, with the tears yet wet on her cheek, she fell asleep in 
her sister's arms. 

And Madeline, though she would not stir from her post lest the 
movement should awaken her sister, was yet prevented from closing 
her eyes in a similar repose. Ever and anon she breathlessly and 
gently raised herself to steal a glimpse of that solitary light afar ; 
and ever, as she looked, the ray greeted her eyes with an unswerv- 
ing and melancholy stillness, till the dawn crept greyly over th« 



S>» EUGENE AEAM. 

heavens, and that speck of light, holier to her than the stats, fciied 
siso with them beneath the broader lustre of the day. 

Tbe next week was passed in preparations for Walter's departure. 
At that time, and in that distant part of the country, it was 
greatly the fashion among the younger travellers to perform their 
excursions on horseback, and it was this method of conveyance that 
Walter preferred. The best steed in the squire's stables was 
therefore appropriated to his service, and a strong black horse with 
a Roman nose_ and a long tail was consigned to the mastery. o £ 
Corporal Bunting. The squire was delighted that his nephew "had 
secured such an attendant, for the soldier, though odd and selfish, 
was a man of some sense and experience, and Lester thought such 
qualities might not be without their use to a young master, new to 
the common frauds and daily usages of the world he was about to 
enter. 

As for Bunting himself, he covered his secret exultation at the 
prospect of change and board-wages with the cool semblance of a 
man sacrificing his wishes to his affections. He made it his pecu- 
liar study to impress upon the squire's mind the extent of the 
sacrifice he was about to make. The bit cot had been just white- 
washed, the pet cat just lain in ; then, too, who would dig and 
gather seeds m the garden, defend the plants (plants ! the corporal 
could scarce count a dozen, and nine out of them were cabbages !) 
from the impending frosts ? It was exactly, too, the time of year 
when the rheumatism paid flying visits to the bones and loins of the 
worthy corporal ; and to think of his " galavanting about the 
country " when he ought to be guarding against that sly foe, the 
lumbago, in the fortress of his chimney-corner ! 

To all these murmurs and insinuations the good Lester seriously 
inclined, — not with the less sympathy, in that they invariably 
ended in the corporal's slapping his manly thigh, and swearing that 
he loved Master Walter like gunpowder, and that were it twenty 
times as much, he would cheerfully do it for the sake of his hand- 
some young honour. Ever at this peroration the eyes of the squire 
began to twinkle, and new thanks were given to the veteran for 
his disinterested affection, and new promises pledged him in in- 
adequate return. The pious Dealtry felt a little jealousy at the 
trust imparted to his friend. He halted, on his return from his 
farm, by the spruce stile which led to the demesne of the cor- 
poral, and eyed the warrior somewhat sourly, as he now, inthe 
cool of the evening, sat without his door arranging his fishing- 
tackle and flies in various little papers, which he carefully labelled 
by the help of a stunted pen, that had seen at least as much service 
as himself. 

"Well, neighbour Bunting," said the little landlord., leaning 
over the stile, but not passing its boiindary, " and when do you go ? 
You will have wet weather of it [looking up to the skies] ; vou 
must take care of the rumatiz. At your age it's no trifle, eh— 
hem." 

" My age ! should like to know — what mean by that ! my age 
indeed ! — augh ! — bother !" grunted Bunting, looking up from his 



EUGENE A1LAM 67 

occupation. Peter chuckled inly at the corporal's displeasure, and 
continued, as in an apologetic tone, — 

" Oh, I ax your pardon, neighbour. I don't mean to say you are 
too old to travel. Why there was Hal Whitol, eighty-two cume 
next Michaelmas, took a trip to Lunnun last year, — 

" For young and old, the stout, the poorly, 
The eye of God be on them surely.' " 

" Bother ! " said the corporal, turning round on liis seat. 

" And what do you intend doing with the brindled cat ? put 'un up 
in the saddle-bags? You won't surely have the heart to leave 'un. 

"As to that," quoth the corporal, sighing, "the poor dumb 
animal makes me sad to think on't." And, putting down his fish- 
hooks, he stroked the sides of an enormous cat, who now, with tail 
on end, and back bowed up, and uttering her lenes susurrus — 
Anglice, purr ! rubbed herself to and fro athwart the corporal's legs. 

" What staring there for ? won't ye step in, man ? Can climb the 
6tile, I suppose ? — augh ! " 

" No, thank ye, neighbour. I do very well here, that is, if you 
can hear me ; your deafness is not so troublesome as it was last 
win " 

" Bother ! " interrupted the corporal, in a voice that made the 
little landlord start bolt upright from the easy confidence of his 
position. Nothing on earth so offended the perpendicular Jacob 
Bunting as any insinuation of increasing years or growing infirmi- 
ties ; but at this moment, as he meditated putting Dealtry to some 
use, he prudently conquered the gathering anger, and added, like 
the man of the world be justly plumed himself on being, in a voice 
gentle as a dying howl, — 

" What 'fraid on ? come in, there's a good fellow : want to speak 
to ye. Come do — a-u-g-h ! " the last sound being prolonged into 
one of unutterable coaxingness, and accompanied with a beck of 
the hand and a wheedling wink. 

These allurements the good Peter could not resist ; he clambered 
the stile, and seated himself on the bench beside the corporal. 

" There now, fine fellow, fit for the forty-second," said Bunting, 
clapping him on the back. " AVell, and — a— nd— a beautiful cat, 
isn't her r" 

" Ah !" said Teter, very shortly — for though a remarkably mild 
man, Peter did not love cats : moreover, we must now inform the 
reader that the cat of Jacob Bunting was one more feared than 
respected throughout the village. The corporal was a cunning 
instructor of all animals : he could teach goldfinches the use of the 
musket ; dogs, the art of the broadsword : horses, to dance horn- 
pipes and pick pockets ; and he had relieved the ennui of his 
holitary moments by imparting sundry accomplishments to the 
ductile genius of his cat. Under his tuition puss had learned to 
letch and carry ; to turn over head and tail like a tumbler ; to run 
up vour shoulder when you least expected it ; to fly as if she were 
mad at any one upon whom the corporal thought fit to set her; and, 
above all, to rob larders, shelves, and tables, and bring the produco 

v 2 



6i EUGENE AliAM. 

to the corporal, who never failed to consider such stray waifs lawful 
manorial acquisitions. These little feline cultivations of talent, how- 
ever delightful to the corporal, and creditable to his powers of teaching 
the young idea how to shoot, had, nevertheless, since the truth 
must be told, rendered the corporal's cat a proverb and by-word 
throughout the neighbourhood. Never was cat in such bad odour; 
and the dislike in which it was held was wonderfully increased by 
terror ; for the creature was singularly large and robust, and withal 
of so courageous a temper, that if you attempted to resist its 
invasion of your property it forthwith set up its back, put down its 
ears, opened its mouth, and bade you fully comprehend that what 
it feloniously seized it could gallantly defend. More than one 
gossip in the village had this notable cat hurried into premature 
parturition as, on descending at daybreak into her kitchen, the 
dame would descry the animal perched on the dresser, having 
entered Heaven knows how, and glaring upon her with its great 
green eyes, and a malignant brownie expression of countenance. 

Various deputations had, indeed, from time to time arrived at 
the corporal's cottage requesting the death, expulsion, or perpetual 
imprisonment of the favourite. But the stout corporal received 
them grimly, and dismissed them gruffly, and the cat went on, 
waxing in size and wickedness, and baffling, as if inspired by the 
devil, the various gins and traps set for its destruction. But 
never, perhaps, was there a greater disturbance and perturbation 
in the little hamlet than when, some three weeks since, the cor- 
poral's eat was know to be brought to bed, and safely delivered of 
a numerous offspring. The village saw itself overrun with a race 
and a perpetuity of corporal's cats ! Perhaps, too, their teacher 
growing more expert by practice, the descendants might attain to 
even greater accomplishments than their nefarious progenitor. No 
longer did the faint hope of being delivered from their tormentor 
by an untimely or even natural death occur to the harassed Grass- 
dalians. Death was an incident natural to one cat, however 
vivacious, but here was a dynasty of cats ! Principes mortales t 
respublica eetema ! 

Now the corporal loved this creature better, yes, better than 
anything in the world except travelling and board-wages ; and he 
was sorely perplexed in his mind how he should be able to dispose 
of her safely in his absence. He was aware of the general enmity 
ehe had inspired, and trembled to anticipate its probable result 
when he was no longer by to afford her shelter and protection. The 
squire had, indeed, offered her an asylum at the manor-house : but 
the squire's cook was the cat's most embittered enemy ; and what 
man can answer for the peaceable behaviour of his cook ? The 
corporal, therefore, with a reluctant sigh, renounced the friendly 
offer, and after lying awake three nights, and turning over in hia 
mind the characters, consciences, and capabilities of all his neigh- 
bours, he came at last to the conviction that there was no one with 
whom he could so safely intrust his cat as Peter Dealtry. It is 
true, as we said before, that Peter was no lover cf cats ; and the 
task of persuading him to afford board and lodging to a cat, of nil 



KCGENK AKAM. <5» 

eats the most odious and malignant, was therefore no easy matter. 
i!ut to a man of the world what intrigue is impossible ? 

The iinest diplomatist in hurope might have taken a lesson from 
the corporal, as he now proceeded earnestly towards the accom- 
plishment of his project. 

He took the cat, which, by the bye, we forgot to say that he had 
■thought fit to christen after himself, and to honour with a name, 
somewhat lengthy for a cat (but, indeed, this was no ordinary cat !) 
viz. Jaeobina — lie took Jacobina then, we say, upon his lap, and, 
stroking her brindled sides with great tenderness, lie bade Dealtry 
remark how singularly quiet the animal was in its manners. Nay, 
he was not contented until Peter himself had patted her with a 
timorous hand, and had reluctantly submitted the said hand to the 
honour of being licked by the cat in return. Jacobina, who, to do 
her justice, was always meek enough in the presence and at the 
will of her master, was, fortunately, this day, on her very best 
behaviour. 

"Them dumb animals be mighty grateful," quoth the corporal. 

" All !" rejoined Peter, wiping his hand with his pocket-hand- 
kerchief. 

" But, Lord '. what scandal there be in the world ! " 

" ' Though slander's breath may raise a storm, 
It quickly does decay ! ' " 

muttered Peter. 

" Very well, very true ; sensible verses those," said the corporal, 
approvingly : " and yet mischief's often done before the amends 
come. Body o' me, it makes a man sick of his kind, ashamed to 
belong to the race of men, to see the envy that abounds in this hers 
sublunary wale of tears ! " said the corporal, lifting up his eyes. 

Peter stared at him with open mouth ; the hypocritical rascal 
continued, after a pause, — 

" Xow there's Jacobina, 'cause she's a good cat, a faithful ser- 
vant, the whole village is against her : such lies as they tell on her, 
such wappers, you'd think she was the devil in garnet ! I grant, 
I grant," added the corporal, in a tone of apologetic candour, " that 
she's wild, saucy, knows her friends from her foes, steals Goody 
Solomon's butter ; but what then? Goody Solomon's d — db — h! 
< Joody Solomon sold beer in opposition to you, set up a public ; you 
do not like Goody Solomon, Peter Dealtry ? " 

"If that were all Jacobina had done!" said the landlord, 
grinning. 

" All ! what else did she do? Why, she eat up John Tomkins's 
canary-bird ; and did not John Tomkins, saucy rascal ! say you 
could not sing better nor a raven ?" 

" I have nothing to say against the poor creature for that," said 
Peter, stroking the cat of his own accord. " Cats will eat birds, 'tis 
the 'spensation of Providence. But what, corporal ! " and Peter 
hastily withdrawing his hand, hurried it into his breeches-pocket 
— "but what! did not she scratch Joe Webster's little boy's 
hand into ribands, because the boy tried to prevent her running (iff 
■«rith a ball of stritur?" 



•':. EUGEXE A-BAM. 

" And well," grunted the corporal, " that was not Jacobina' a 
doing ; that was my doing. I wanted the string — offered to pay a 
penny for it — think of that ! " 

" It was priced twopence ha'penny," said Peter. 

" A ugh — baugh ! you would not pay Joe Webster all he asks ! 
What's the use of being a man of the world, unless one makes one's 
tradesmen bate a bit ? Bargaining is not cheating, I hope ? " 

" Heaven forbid ! " said Peter. 

" But as to the bit string, Jacobina took it solely for your sake. 
,Ah, she did not think you were to turn against her ! " 

So saying, the corporal got up, walked into his house, and pre- 
sently came back with a little net in his hand. 

' There, Peter, net for you, to hold lemons. Thank Jacobina for 
that ; she got the string. Says I to her one day, as I was sitting, 
as I might be now, without the door, ' Jacobina, Peter Dealtry's a 
good fellow, and he keeps his lemons in a bag : bad habit, — get 
mouldy, — we'll make him a net : ' and Jacobina purred (stroke the 
poor creature, Peter !) — so Jacobina and I took a walk, and when 
we came to Joe Webster's, I pointed out the ball o' twine to her. 
So, for your sake, Peter, she got into this here scrape — augh." 

"Ah!" quoth Peter, laughing, "poor puss! poor pussy ! poor 
little pussy ! " 

" And now, Peter," said the corporal, taking his friend's hand, 
" I am going to prove friendship to you — going to do you great 
favour." 

" Aha !" said Peter, " my good friend, I'm very much obliged 
to you. I know your kind heart, but I really don't want any " 

" Bother ! " cried the corporal ; " I'm not the man as mikes 
much of doing a friend a kindness. Hold jaw ! tell you wha\^ — 
tell you what : am going away on Wednesday at daybreak, and in 
my absence you shall " 

" What? my good corporal." 

" Take charge of Jacobina ! " 

" Take charge of the devil!" cried Peter. 

" Augh ! — baugh ! — what words are those ? Listen to me." 

"I won't!" 

"You shall !"_ 

" I'll be d — d if I do !" quoth Peter, sturdily. It was the first 
time he had been known to swear since he was parish clerk ! 

" Very well, very well ! " said the corporal, chucking up his 
chin, "Jacobina can take care of herself! Jacobina knows her 
friends and her foes as well as her master ! Jacobina never injures 
her friends, never forgives foes. Look to yourself ! look to yourself! 
insult my cat, insult me ! Swear at Jacobina, indeed !" 

" If she steals my cream !" cried Peter. 

" Did she ever steal your cream i" 

" No ! but, if " 

" Did she ever steal your cream ?" 

" I can't say she ever did." 

" Or anything else of vours ?" 

" Not that I know of;" but — ~" 



EUGENE AfiAM. 51 

" Never too late to mend." 

" Jf- — " 

" Will vou listen to me, or not ?" 

" Well." 

"You'll listen?" 

" Yes." 

" Know then, that I wanted to do you kindness.' 

" Humph ! " 

" Hold jaw ! I taught Jacobina all she knows." 

" JIuic's the pity !" 

_" Hold jaw ! I taught her to respect her friends, — never to com- 
mit herself indoors — never to steal at home — never to Hy at home — 
never to scratch at home — to kill mice and rats — to bring all she 
catches to her master — to do what he tells her — and to defend his 
house as well as a mastiff : and this invaluable creature I was going 
to lend you : — won't now, d — d if I do ! " 

" Humph." 

" Hold jaw ! When I'm gone, Jacobina will have no one to feed 
her. She'll feed herself — will go to every larder, every house in 
the place — your's best larder, best house ; — will come to you 
oftenest. If your wife attempts to drive her away, scratch her 
eyes out ; if you disturb her, serve you worse than Joe Webster's 
little boy : — wanted to prevent this — won't now, d — d if I do ! " 

" But corporal, how would it mend the matter to take the devil 
indoors ?" 

" Devil ! don't call names. Did not I tell you, only one Jacobina 
does not hurt is her master r — make you her master ; now d'ye 
see ? " 

" It is very hard," said Peter, grumblingly, " that the only way 
I can defend myself from this villanous creature is to take her into 
my house." 

" Villainous ! You ought to be proud of her affection. She 
returns good for evil — she always loved you ; see how she rubs her- 
self against voii — and that's the reason why I selected you from 
the whole village, to take care of her ; but you at once injure your- 
self and refuse to do your friend a service. Howsomever, you 
know I shall be with young squire, and he'll be master here one of 
these days, and I shall have an influence over him — you'll see — 
you'll see. Look that there's not another ' Spotted Dog' set up — 
augh ! — bother ! " 

" But what would my wife say, if I took the cat ? she can't abide 
its name." 

" Let me alone to talk to your wife. What would she say if I 
bring her from Lunnun town a tine silk-gown, or a ri"eat shawl with 
a blue border — blue becomes her, or a tay- chest — that will do for 
you both, and would set off the little back parlour ? Mahogany 
tay-chest, inlaid at top— initials in silver, J. B. to D. and P. D. ; 
two boxes for tay, and a bowl for sugar in the middle. Ah ! ah • 
Love me, love my cat ! When was Jacob Bunting ungrateful ?— • 
augh ! " 

" Well, well ! will you talk to Dorothy about it ? " 



72 ETJtiEXH AKAil. 

" I sliaJ. have your consent, then ? Thanks, my dear, dear Peter ; 
'pon my soul you're a fine fellow ! you see, you're great man of the 
parish. If you protect her, none dare injure ; if you scout her, all 
set upon her. For, as you said, or rather sung, t'other Sunday — 
capital voice you were in, too, — - 

* The mighty tyrants without cause, 
Conspire her hlond to shed : ' " 

"I did not think you had so good a memory, corporal," said 
Peter, smiling ; — the cat was now curling itself up in his lap : 
" after all, Jacobina — what a deuee of a name ! — seems gentle 
enough." 

"Gentle as a lamb, soft as butter, kind as cream, and such a 
mouser ! " 

" But I don't think Dorothy " 

" 1*11 settle Dorothy." 

" Well, when will you look up ? " 

' Come and take a dish of tay with you in half an hour ; — you 
want a new tay-chest ; something new and genteel." 

" I think we do," said Peter, rising and gently depositing the 
cat on the ground. 

"Aha ! we'll see to it ! — we'll see? Good-bye for the present — 
in half an hour be with you ! " 

The corporal, left alone with Jacobina, eyed her intently, and 
burst into the following pathetic address : — 

"Well, Jacobina ! you little know the pains I take to serve you 
— the lies I tells for you — endangered my precious soul for your 
sake, you jade ! Ah ! may well rub your sides against me ! J aco- 
hina ! Jacobina ! you be the only thing in the world that cares a 
button for me. I have neither kith nor kin. You are daughter — 
friend — wife to me : if anything happened to you, I should not 
have the heart to love anything else. And body o' me, but you be 
as kind as any mistress, and much more tractable than any wife ; 
hut the world gives you a bad name, Jacobina. Why ? Is it that 
you do worse than the world do ? You has no morality in you, 
Jacobina ; well, but has the world ? No ! But it has humbug — 
you have no humbug, Jacobina. On the faith of a man, Jacobina, 
you be better than the world ! — baugh ! You takes cares of your 
own interest, but you takes care of your master's too. — You loves 
me as well as yourself. Few cats can say the same, Jacobina ! and 
no gossip that ilings a stone at your pretty brindled skin, can say 
half as much. We must not forget your kittens, Jacobina ; you 
have four left — they must be provided for. Why not a cat's chil- 
dren as well as a courtier's ? I have got you a comfortable home, 
Jacobina ; take care of yourself, and don't fall in love with every 
tom-cat in the place. Be sober, and lead a single life till my 
return. Come, Jacobina, we will lock up the house, and go and 
ee the quarters I have provided for you. — Heigho ! " 

As he finished his harangue, the corporal locked the door of his 
cottage, and Jacobina, trotting by his side, he stalked with his 
usual stateliness to the " Spotted Dojf." 



KUUENE ARAM. 73 

Dame Dorothy Dealtry received bim with a clouded brow ; but 
the man of tbe world knew whom he had to deal with. On Wed- 
nesday morning Jacobina was inducted into the comforts of the 
hearth of mine host ; — and her four little kittens mewed hard by, 
from the sinecure of a basket lined with flannel. 

Header. Here is wisdom in this chapter: it is not every man 
who knows how to dispose of his cat ! 



CHAPTER Xli. 

A STRANGE HABIT.— WALTER'S INTERVIEW WITH MADELINE.— HER 
GENEROUS AND CONFIDING DISPOSITION. — WALTER'S ANGER.— 
THE PARTING MEAL.— CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE UNCLE AND 
NEPHEW. — WALTER ALONE. — SLEEP THE BLESSING OF TnE 
YOUNG. 



Fall. Out, out, unworthy to speak where he breatheth, 

* * * * &c. 
Punt. Well, now, my whole venture is forth, I will resolve to depart. 

Hen Jonson: " Evert/ Man out of his Humour. 1 * 



Ir was now the eve before Walter's departure, and on return- 
ing home from a farewell walk among his favourite haunts, he 
found Aram, whose visit had been made during Walter's absence, 
now standing on the threshold of the door, and taking leave of 
Madeline and her father. Aram and Walter had only met twice 
before since the interview we recorded, and each time Walter had 
taken care that the meeting should be but of short duration. In 
these brief encounters Aram's manner had been even more gentle 
than heretofore ; that of Walter's more cold and distant. And 
now, as they thus unexpectedly met at the door, Aram, looking at 
him earnestly, said — 

"Farewell, sir! You are to leave us for some time, I hear. 
Heaven speed, you ! " Then he added, in a lower tone, " Will you 
take my hand, now, in parting? " 

As he said, he put forth his hand,— it was the left. 

" Let it be the right hand," observed the elder Lester, smiling : 
" it is a luckier omen." 

" I think not," said Aram, drily. And Walter noted that he 
had never remembered him to give his right hand to any one, even 
to Madeline : the peculiarity of this habit might, however, arise 
from an awkward early habit : it was certainly scarce worth 
ob-.-rving, and Walter had already coldly touched the hand 
extended to him when Lester said carelessly — 

■' Is there any superstition that makes you think, as some of the 
ancients did, the left hand luckier than the right ?" 

'"Yes," replied Aram ; "a superstition. Adieu." 

The student departed; Madeline slowly walked up one of tha 



74 EUGENE Ail AM 

garden alleys, and thither Walter, after whispering to his uncle, 
followed her. 

There is something in those bitter feelings which are the offspring 
of disappointed love ; something in the intolerable anguish of well- 
founded jealousy, that, when the first shock is over, often hardens, 
and perhaps elevates the character. The sterner powers that we 
aror.se within us to combat a passion that can no longer be worthily 
indulged, are never afterwards wholly allayed. Like the allies 
which a nation summons to its bosom to defend it from its foes, 
they expel the enemy only to find a settlement for themselves. 
The mind of every man who conquers an unfortunate attachment 
becomes stronger than before ; it may be for evil, it may be for 
good, but the capacities for either are more vigorous and col- 
lected. 

The last few weeks had done more for "Walter's character than 
years of ordinary, even of happy emotion, might have effected. 
He had passed from youth to manhood, and with the sadness, had 
acquired also something of the dignity, of experience. Not that 
we would say that he had subdued his love, but he had made the 
first step towards it ; he had resolved that at all hazards it should 
be subdued. 

As he now joined Madeline, and she perceived him by her side, 
her embarrassment was more evident than his. She feared some 
avowal, and from his temper, perhaps some violence, on his part. 
However, she was the first to speak : women, in such cases, always 
are. 

" It is a beautiful evening," said she, "and the sun set in pro- 
mise of a fine day for your journey to-morrow." 

Walter walked on silently ; his heart was full. " Madeline," he 
said at length, " dear Madeline, give me your hand. Nay, do not 
fear me ; I know what you think, and you are right : I loved — I 
still love you ! but I know well that I can have no hope in making 
this confession ; and when I ask you for your hand, Madeline, it is 
only to convince you that I have no suit to press : had I, I would 
not dare to touch that hand." 

Madeline, wondering and embnn'assed, gave him her hand; he 
held it for a moment with a trembling clasp, pressed it to his lips, 
and then resigned it. 

" Yes, Madeline, my cousin, my sweet cousin ; I have loved you 
deeply, but silently, long before my heart could unravel the mystery 
of the feelings with which it glowed. But this— all this — it were 
now idle to repeat. I know that the heart whose possession would 
have made my whole life a dream, a transport, is given to another. 
I have not sought you now, Madeline, to repine at this, or to vex 
you by the tale of any suffering I may endure : I am come only to 
give you the parting wishes, the parting blessing, of one who, 
wherever he goes, or whatever befall him, will always think of you 
as the brightest and loveliest of human beings. May you be happy, 
yes, even with another ! " 

"Oh, Walter!" said Madeline, affected to tear?, "if I ever 
encouraged— if I ever led you to hope for more than the warm, 



J-.l'tibNK K. I. 1& 

the sisterly affection I bear you, how bitterly 1 should reproach 
myself ! " 

" You never did, dear Madeline ; I asked for no inducement to 
love you, — I never dreamed of seeking a motive, or inquiring if I 
had cause to hope. But as I am now about to quit you, and as you 
confess you feel for me a sister's affection, will you give me leave 
to speak to you as a brother might ? " 

Madeline held out her hand to him with frank cordiality. 
" Yes ! " said she, " speak ! " 

" Then," said Walter, turning away his head in a spirit of delicacy 
that did him honour, " is it yet all too late for me to say one word 
of caution that relates to — Eugene Aram?" 

"Of caution! you alarm me, Walter: speak, has aught hap- 
pened to him ? I saw him as lately as yourself. Does aught 
threaten him ? Speak, I implore you, — quick ! " 

" I know of no danger to him J " replied Walter, stung to per- 
ceive the breathless anxiety with which Madeline spoke; "but 
pause, my cousin ; may there be no danger to you from this 
man ? " 

"Walter!" 

" I grant him wise, learned, gentle, — nay, more than all, bearing 
about him a spell, a fascination, by which he softens, or awes at 
will, and which even I cannot resist. But yet, his abstracted 
mood, his gloomy life, certain words that have broken from him 
unawares, — certain tell-tale emotions, which words of mine, heed- 
lessly said, have fiercely aroused, all united, inspire me — shall I 
say it r — with fear and distrust. I cannot think him altogether 
the calm and pure being he appears. Madeline, I have asked 
myself again and again, is this suspicion the effect of jealousy ? 
do I scan his bearing with the jaundiced eye of disappointed rival- 
ship ? And I have satisfied my conscience that my judgment is 
not thus biassed. Stay ! listen yet a little while ! You have a 
high, a thoughtful mind. Exert it now. Consider, your whole 
happiness rests on one step ! Pause, examine, compare ! Remem- 
ber, you have not of Aram, as of those whom you have hitherto 
mixed with, the eye-witness of a life ! You can know but little of 
his real temper, his secret qualities ; still less of the tenor of his 
former existence. I only ask of you, for your own sake, for my 
sake, your sister's sake, and your good father's, not to judge toe* 
rashly ! Love him, if you will ; but observe him ! " 

"iJave you done?" said Madeline, who had hitherto with 
difficulty contained herself; " then hear me. Was it I — was it 
Madeline Lester whom you asked to play the watch, to enact the 
spy upon the man whom she exults in loving ? _ Was it not enough 
that yuu should descend to mark down each incautious. look— to 
chronicle every heedless word — to draw dark deductions from the 
unsuspecting confidence of my father's friend — to lie in wait — to 
hang with a foe's malignity upon the unbendings of familiar inter- 
course — to extort anger from gentleness itself, that you might 
wrest the anger into crime ? Shame, shame upon you for the 
meanness ! And must you also suppose that I, to whose trust ho- 



76 EUGENE AEAM. 

has given his noblu heart, will receive it only to play the eves- 
dropper to its secrets ? Away ! " 

The generous blood crimsoned the cheek and brow of this high- 
spirited girl, as she uttered her galling reproof : her eyes sparkled, 
her lip quivered, her whole frame seemed to have grown larger 
with the majesty of indignant love. 

" Cruel, unjust, ungrateful ! " ejaculated "Walter, pale with rage, 
and trembling under the conflict of his roused and wounded feel- 
ings. " Is it thus you answer the warning of too disinterested and 
self- forgetful a love ? " 

" Love !" exclaimed Madeline. "Grant me patience! — Love! 
It was but now I thought myself honoured by the affection you said 
you bore me. At this instant, I blush to have called forth a single 
-sentiment in one who knows so little what love is ! Love ! — 
metnought that word denoted all that was high and noble in 
human nature— confidence, hope, devotion, sacrifice of all thought 
of self ! but you would make it the type and concentration of all 
that lowers and debases ! — suspicion — cavil — fear — selfishness in 
all its shapes ! Out on you! — love!" 

" Enough, enough ! Say no more, Madeline ; say no more. We 
part not as I had hoped : but be it so. You are changed indeed, if 
your conscience smite you not hereafter for this injustice. Fare- 
well, and may you never regret, not only the heart you have 
rejected, but the friendship you have belied." With these words, 
and choked by his emotions, Walter hastily strode away. 

He hurried into the house, and into a little room adjoining the 
chamber in which he slept, and which had been also appropriated 
eolely to his use. It was now spread with boxes and trunks, some 
half-packed, some corded, and inscribed with the address to which 
they were to be sent in London. All these mute tokens of his 
approaching departure struck upon his excited feelings with a 
suddenness that overpowered him. 

" And it is thus — thus," said he, aloud, " that I am to leave, for 
the first time, my childhood's home ! " 

He threw himself on his chair, and covering his face with his 
hands, burst, fairly subdued and unmanned, into a paroxysm of 
tears. 

When this emotion was over, he felt as if his love for Madeline 
had also disappeared ; a sore and insulted feeling was all that her 
image now recalled to him. This idea gave him some conso- 
lation. 

" Thank Heaven ! " he muttered, " thank Heaven, I am cured at 
last ! " 

The thanksgiving was scarcely over, before the door opened 
softly, and Ellinor, not perceiving him where he sat, entered the 
room, and laid on the table a purse which she had long promised 
to knit him, and which seemed now designed as a parting gift. 

She sighed heavily as she laid it down, and he observed that her 
eyes seemed red as with weeping. 

He did not move, and Ellinor left the room without discovering 
him : but he remained there till dark, musing on her apparition; 



KTJGUNii ARAM. 7? 

and before be went downstairs he took up the little purse, kissed 
it, and put it carefully into his bosom. 

He sat next to Ellinor at. supper tbat evening 1 , and, though he 
did not say much, his last words wero more to her than -words had 
ever been before. When ho took leave of her for the night, he 
whispered, as he kissed her cheek, " God bless you, dearest Ellinor ! 
and till I return take care of yourself, for the sake of one who 
loves you now, better than anything on earth." 

Lester had just left the room to write some letters for "Walter ; 
and Madeline, who had hitherto sat absorbed and silent by the 
window, approached Walter, and offered him her hand. 

" Forgive me, my dear cousin," she said, in her softest voice, 
" I feel that I was hasty, and to blame. Believe me, I am now 
at least grateful, warmly grateful, for the kindness of your 
motives." 

" Not so," said Walter, bitterly ; " the advice of a friend is only 
meanness." 

" Come, come, forgive me ; pray do not let us part unkindly. 
When did we ever quarrel before ? I was wrong, grievously wrong- 
— I will perform any penance you may enjoin." 

" Agreed, then : follow my admonitions." 

" Ah ! anything else," said Madeline, gravely, and colouring- 
deeply. 

Walter said no more : he pressed her hand lightly, and turned 
away. 

" Is all forgiven ? " said she, in so bewitching a tone, and with 
so bright a smile, that Walter, against his conscience, answered 
" Yes." 

The sisters left the room ; I know not which of the two received 
his last glance. 

Lester now returned with the letters. " There is one charge, my 
dear boy," said he, in concluding the moral injunctions and expe- 
rienced suggestions with which the young generally leave the 
ancestral home — "there is one charge which I need not commend 
to your ingenuity and zeal. You know my strong conviction, 
that your father, my poor brother, still lives. Is it necessary for 
me to tell you to exert yourself by all ways, and in all means, to 
discover some clue to his fate ? Who knows," added Lester, 
with a smile, " but that you may find him a rich nabob ? I confess 
that I chould feel but little surprise if it were so ; but, at all 
events, you will make every possible inquiry. I have written 
down in this paper the few particulars concerning him which I 
have been enabled to glean since he left his home ; the places where 
he was last seen, the false names he assumed, &c. I shall wait 
with great anxiety for any fuller success to your researches." 

" You needed not, my dear uncle," said Walter, seriously, " to 
have spoken to me on this subject. No one, not even yourself, 
can have felt what I have — can have cherished the same anxiety, 
nursed the same hope, indulged the same conjecture. I have not, 
it is true, often of late years spoken to you on a matter so near to 
ua both ; but I have spent whole hours in guesses at my father's' 



/8 EUGENE AEA51. 

fate, and in dreams that for me was reserved the proud task to 
discover it. I ■will not say, indeed, that it makes at this moment 
the chief motive for my desire to travel, but in travel it 'will 
become my chief object. Perhaps I may ftnd him not only rich — 
that, for my part, is but a minor wish — but sobered, and reformed 
from the errors and wildness of his earlier manhood. Oh, what 
should be his gratitude to you for all the care with which 5 on 
have supplied to the forsaken child the father's place ; and not the 
least, that you have, in softening: the colours of his conduct, taught 
me still to prize and seek for a father's love ! " 

" You have a kind heart, "Walter," said the good old man, press- 
ing his nephew's hand, " and that has more than repaid me for 
the little I have done for you : it is better to sow a good heart 
with kindness than a field with corn, for the heart's harvest is 
perpetual." 

Many, and earnest, that night, were the meditations o-f "Walter 
Lester. He was about to quit the home in which youth had been 
passed — in which first love had been formed and blighted : the 
world was before him ; but there was something more grave than 
pleasure — more steady than nterprise — that beckoned him to its 
paths. The deep mystery that for so many years had hung over 
the fate of his parent, it might indeed be his lot to pierce ; and 
with a common waywardness in our nature, the restless son felt 
his interest in that parent the livelier, from the very circumstance 
of remembering nothing of his person. Affection had been nursed 
by curiosity and imagination ; and the bad father was thus more 
fortunate in winning the heart of the son, than had he, perhaps by 
the tenderness of years, deserved that affection. 

Oppressed and feverish, Walter opened the lattice of his room, 
and looked forth on the night. The broad harvest-moon was in 
the heavens, and filled the air as with a softer and holier day. At 
a distance its light just gave the dark outline of Aram's house, 
and beneath the window it lay, bright and steady on the green, 
still churchyard, that adjoined the house. The air and the light 
allayed, the fitfulness at the young man's heart, but served to 
solemnize the project and desire with which it beat. Still leaning 
from the casement, with his eyes fixed upon the tranquil scene 
below, he poured forth the prayer, that to his hands might the 
discovery of his lost sire be granted. The prayer seemed to lift 
the oppression from his breast ; he felt cheerful" and relieved, and, 
flinging himself on his bed, soon fell into the sound and healthful 
sleep of youth. And oh ! let Youth cherish that happiest of earthly 
boons while yet' it is at its command ;— for there comoth the day to 
all, when " neither the voice of the lute nor the birds"* shall bring 
back the sweet slumbers that fell on their young eyes, as unbidden 
as the dews. It is a dark epoch in a man's life when sleep forsakes 
him ; when ho tosses to and fro, and thought will not be silenced ; 
when the drug and draught are the courtiers of stupefaction, not 
sleep ; when the down pillow is as a knotted log ; when the eyelids 

• Noo avium citharaequc, &c. — Horn}. 



EUGENE AKAM. 79 

close but with an effort, and there is a drag, and a weight, and a 
dizziness in the eyes at morn. Desire, and grief, and love, these 
are the young man's torments ; but they are the creatures of time : 
time removes them as it brings, and the vigils we keep, " while 
the evil days come not," if weary, are brief and few. But memory, 
and care, and ambition, and avarice, these are demon-gods that 
defy the Time that fathered them. _ The worldlier passions are the 
growth of mature years, and their grave is dug but in our own. 
As the dark spirits in the northern tale, that watch against the 
coming of one of a brighter and holier race, lest, if he seize them 
unawares, he bind them prisoners in his chain, they keep ward at 
uight over the entrance of that deep cave — the human heart — and 
scare away the angel Sleep. 



BOOK II. 

CHAPTEE I. 

THE 1IAEEIAGB SETTLED.— LESTEK's HOPES AND SCHEMES.— GAIETY 
OF TEMPER A GOOD SPECULATION.— THE TRUTH AND EERVOUE OF 
lEAM'S LOVE. 



Love is better than a pair of spectacles, to make everything seem greater which 
is seen through it. — Sir Philip Sidney: " Arcadia." 



Abam's affection to Madeline having now been formalV an- 
nounced to Lester, and Madeline's consent having been somewhat 
less formally obtained, it only remained to fix the time for their 
wedding. Though Lester forbode to question Aram as to his 
circumstances, the student frankly confessed that, if not affording 
what the generality of persons would consider even a competence, 
they enabled one of his moderate wants and retired life (espe- 
cially in the remote and cheap district in which thev lived), to 
dispense with all fortune in a wife, who, like Madeline, was 
equally with himself enamoured of obscurity. The good Lester, 
however, proposed to bestow upon his daughter such a portion as 
might allow for the wants of an increased family, or the probable 
contingencies of Fate. Tor though Fortune may often slacken her 
wheel, there is no spot in which she suffers it to be wholly still. 

It was now the middle of September, and by the end of the 
ensuing month it was agreed that the espousals of the lovers 
should be held. It is certain that Lester felt one pan°: for his 
nephew as he subscribed to this proposal ; b at he consoled him- 
self with recurring to a hope he had long cherished, viz., that 
Walter would return home not only cured of Ids vain attachment 



30 KUGEND 1KAM. 

*o Madeline, but with the disposition to admit the attractions of her 
sister. A marriage between these two cousins had for years been his 
favourite project. The lively and ready temper of Ellinor, her house- 
hold turn, hermerry laugh, a winningplayfulness that characterised 
even her defects, were all more after Lester's secret heart than the 
graver and higher nature of his elder daughter. This might mainly 
be that they were traits of disposition that more reminded^ him of 
his lost wife, and were, therefore, more accordant with his ideal 
standard of perfection ; but I incline also to believe that the more 
persons advance in years, the more even, if of staid and sober 
temper themselves, they love gaiety and elasticity in youth. I have 
often pleased myself by observing, in some happy family circle 
embracing all ages, that it is the liveliest and wildest child that 
charms the grandsire the most. And after all it is, perhaps, 
with characters as with books, the grave and thoughtful may be 
more admired than the light and cheerful, but they are less liked ; 
it is not only that the former, being of a more abstruse and recon- 
dite nature, find fewer persons capable of judging of their merits, 
but also that the great object of the majority of human beings is 
to be amused, and that they naturally incline to love those the 
best who amuse them most. And to so great a practical extent is 
this preference pushed, that I think, were a nice observer to make 
a census of all those who have received legacies, or dropped unex- 
pectedly into fortunes, he would find that where one grave dis- 
position had so benefited, there would be at least twenty gay. 
Perhaps, however, it may be said that I am here taking the cause 
for the effect. 

But to return from our speculative disquisitions. Lester, then, 
who though he had so slowly discovered nis nephew's passion for 
Madeline, had long since guessed the secret of Ellinor's affection 
for him, looked forward with a hope rather sanguine than anxious 
to the ultimate realization of his cherished domestic scheme. And 
he pleased himself with thinking that when all soreness would, by 
this double wedding, be banished from Walter's mind, it would be 
impossible to conceive a family group more united or more happy. 

And Ellinor herself, ever since the parting words of her cousin, 
had seemed, so far from being inconsolable for his absence, more 
bright of cheek and elastic of step than she had been for months 
before. What a world of all feelings which forbid despondence, 
lies hoarded in the hearts of the young ! As one fountain is filled 
by the channels that exhaust another, we cherish wisdom at the 
expense of hope. It thus happened, from one cause or another, 
that Walter's absence created a less cheerless blank in the family 
circle than might have been expected ; and the approaching bridals 
of Madeline and her lover naturally diverted, in a great measure, 
the ttioughts of each, and engrossed their conversation. 

Whatever might be Madeline's infatuation as to the merits of Aram, 
one merit, the greatest of all in the eyes of a woman who loves, 
he at least possessed. Never was mistress more burningly and 
deeply loved than she, who, for the first time, awoke the long- 
slumbering passions in the heart of Eugene Aram. Every day 



EUGENE ABAM. 81 

the ardour of his affections seemed to increase. "With what 
anxiety he watched her footsteps ! with what idolatry he hung 
upon her words ! with what unspeakable and yearning emotion he 
gazed upon the changeful eloquence of her cheek ! Now that 
Walter was gone, he almost took up his abode at the manor- 
house. He came thither in the early morning, and rarely returned 
home before the family retired for the night : and even then, when 
all was hushed, and they believed him in his solitary home, he 
lingered for hours around the house, to look up to Madeline's 
window, charmed to the spot which held the intoxication of her 
presence. Madeline discovered this habit, and chid it ; but so 
tenderly, that it was not cured. And still at times, by the autumnal 
moon, she marked from her window his dark figure gliding among 
the shadows of the trees, or pausing by the lowly tombs in the 
still churchyard — the resting-place of hearts that once, perhaps, 
beat as wildly as his own. 

It was impossible that a love of this order, and from one so 
richly gifted as Aram, — a love, which in substance was truth, and 
yet in ianguage poetry, could fail wholly to subdue and enthral a 
girl so young, so romantic, so enthusiastic as Madeline Lester. 
How intense and delicious must have been her sense of happiness ! 
In the pure heart of a girl loving for the first time, love is far more 
ecstatic than in man, inasmuch as it is unfevered by desire ; love, 
then and there, makes the only state of human existence which is 
at once capable of calmness and transport ! 



CHAPTER II 

FAVOURABLE SPECIMEN OF A NOBLEMAN AND A COUBTIEE.— A 
MAN OF SOME FAULTS AND MANY ACCOMPLISHMENTS. 



Titinius Capita is to rehearse. He is a man of an excellent disposition, and to 
be numbered among the chief ornaments of his age. He cultivates literature — he 
loves men of learning:, &c. — Lord Orrery's " Pliny." 



About this time, the Earl of , the great nobleman of the 

district, and whose residence was within a few miles of Grassdale, 
came down to pay his wonted yearly visit to his country domains. 
He was a man well known in the history of the times ; though, for 
various reasons, I conceal his name. He was a courtier, — deep, 
wily, ftccomplished ; but capable of generous sentiments and 
enlarged views. Though, from regard to his interests, he seized 
and lived as it were upon the fleeting spirit of the day, the pene- 
tration of his intellect went far beyond its reach. He claims the 
merit of having been the one, of all his contemporaries (Lord Ches- 
terfield alone excepted), who most clearly saw and most distinctly 
prophesied, the dark and fearful storm that, at the close of the 



82 EUGENE AliAM. 

eentury, ourst oyer France — visiting indeed the sins of the fathers 
upon the sons. 

From the small circle of pompous trifles in which the dwellers 
of a court are condemned to live, and which he brightened by his 
abilities, and graced by his accomplishments, the sagacious and 

far-sighted mind of Lord comprehended the vast field without, 

usually invisible to those of his habits and profession. Men who 
the best know the little nucleus which is called the world, are often 
the most ignorant of mankind ; but it was the peculiar attribute 
of this nobleman, that he could not only analyse the external 
customs of his species, but also penetrate into their deeper and 
more hidden interests. 

The works and correspondence he has left behind him, though 
far from voluminous, testify a consummate knowledge of the 
varieties of human nature. The refinement of his taste appears 
less remarkable than the vigour of his understanding. It might 
be that he knew the vices of men better than their virtues ; yet he 
was no shallow disbeliever in the latter : he read the heart too 
accurately not to know that it is guided as often by its affections 
as its interests. In his early life he had incurred, not without 
truth, the charge of licentiousness ; but, even in pursuit of plea- 
sure, he had been neither weak on the one hand, nor gross on the 
other, — neither the headlong dupe nor the callous sensualist ; but 
his graces, his rank, his wealth, had made his conquests a matter 
of too easy purchase ; and hence, like all voluptuaries, the part of 
his worldly knowledge which was the most fallible, was that which 
related to the sex. He judged of women by a standard too dis- 
tinct from that by which he judged of men, and considered those 
foibles peculiar to the sex, which in reality are incident to human 
nature. 

His natural disposition was grave and reflective : and though he 
was not without wit, it was rarely used. He lived, necessarily, 
with the frivolous and the ostentatious ; yet ostentation and frivo- 
lity were charges never brought against himself. As a diplomatist 
and a statesman, he was of the old and erroneous school of in- 
triguers : but his favourite policy was the science of conciliation. 
He was one who would so far have suited the present age, that no 
man could better have steered a nation from the chances of war : 
James I. could not have been inspired with a greater affection for 
peace ; but the peer's dexterity would have made that peace as 
honourable as the king's weakness made it degraded. Ambitious 
to a certain extent, but neither grasping nor mean, he never 
obtained for his genius the full and extensive field it probably 
deserved. He loved a happy life above all things ; and he knew 
that, while activity is the spirit, fatigue is the bane, of hap- 
piness. 

In his day he enjoyed a large share of that public attention 
which generally bequeaths fame ; yet, from several causes (of 
which his own moderation is not the least), his present reputation 
is infinitely less great than the opinions of his most distinguished 
wntemporaries foreboded, 



EDGENi: AllAil. &1 

It is a more difficult matter for men of high rank to become 
illustrious to posterity, than for persons in a sterner and more 
■wholesome walk of life. # Even the greatest among the distin- 
guished men of the patrician order, suffer in the eyes of the after- 
dge for the very qualities, chiefly dazzling defects or brilliant 
eccentricities, which made them most popularly remarkable 
in their day. Men forgive Burns his amours and his revellings, 
with greater ease than they will forgive Bolingbroke and Byron 
for the same offences. 

Our earl was fond of the society of literary men ; he himself 
was -well, perhaps even deeply, read. Certainly his intellectual 
acquisitions were more profound than they have been generally 
esteemed, though, with the common subtlety of a ready genius, 
he could make the quick adaptation of a timely fact, acquired for 
the oocasion, appear the rich overflowing of a copious erudition. 
He was a man who instantly perceived, and liberally acknow- 
ledged, the merits of others. No connoisseur had a more felicitous 
knowledge of the arts, or was more just in the general objects of 
his patronage. In short, what with all his advantages, he was 
one whom an aristocracy may boast of, though a people may for- 
get ; and, if not a great man, was at least a most remarkable lord. 

The Earl of , in his last visit to his estates, had not for- 

fotten to seek out the eminent scholar who shed an honour upon 
is neighbourhood ; he had been greatly struck with the bearing 
and conversation of Aram ; and with the usual felicity with which 
the accomplished earl adapted his nature to those with whom he 
was thrown, he had succeeded in ingratiating himself with Aram in 
return. He could not, indeed, persuade the haughty and solitary 
student to visit him at the castle ; but the earl did not disdain to 
seek any one from whom he could obtain instruction, and he had 
twice or thrice voluntarily encountered Aram, and effectually 
draTTn him from his reserve. The earl now heard with some plea- 
sure, and more surprise, that the austere recluse was about to be 
married to the beauty of the county, and he resolved to seize the 
first occasion to call at the manor-house to offer his compliments 
and congratulations to its inmates. 

Sensible men of rank who, having enjoyed their dignity from 
their birth, may reasonably be expected to grow occasionally tired 
of it, often like mixing with those the most who are the least 
dazzled by the condescension: I do not mean to say, with the 
vulgar parvenus who mistake rudeness for independence, — no man 
forgets respect to another who knows the value of respect to 
himself ; but the respect should be paid easily ; it is not every 
Grand Seigneur, who, like Louis the Fourteenth, is only pleased 
when he puts those he addresses out of countenance. 

There was, therefore, much in the simplicity of Lester's manners 
and those of his nieces, which rendered the family at the manor- 
house especial favourites with Lord ■ ; and the wealthier 

but less honoured squirearchs of the county, stiff in awkward 
pride, and bustling with yet more awkward veneration, heard with 
astonishment and anger of the numerous visits which his lordship, 

a 2 



Si EUGENE ARAM. 

in his brief sojourn at the castle, always contrived to pay to the 
Lesters, and the constant invitations which they received to his 
4iost familiar festivities. 

Lord ■ was no sportsman ; and one morning, when all his 

guests were engaged among the stubbles of September, he mounted 
his quiet palfrey, and gladly took his way to the manor-house. 

It was towards the latter end of the month, and one of the 
earliest of the autumnal fogs hung thinly over the landscape. As 
the earl wound along the sides of the hill on which his castle was 
built, the scene on which he gazed below received from the grey 
mists capriciously hovering over it, a dim and melancholy wildness. 
A broader and whiter vapour, that streaked the lower part of the 
valley, betrayed the course of the rivulet ; and beyond, to the left, 
rose, wan and spectral, the spire of the little church adjoining 
Lester's abode. As the horseman's eye wandered to this spot, the 
sun suddenly broke forth, and lit up as by enchantment the quiet 
and lovely hamlet, embedded as it were beneath, — the cottages, 
with their gay gardens and jasmined porches, — the streamlet half 
in mist, half in light, while here and there columns of vapour rose 
above its surface like the chariots of the water genii, and broke 
into a thousand hues beneath the smiles of the unexpected sua : 
but far to the right, the mists around it yet unbroken, and the 
outline of its form only visible, rose the lone house of the student, 
as if there the sadder spirits of the air yet rallied their broken 
armament of mist and shadow. 

The earl was not a man peculiarly alive to scenery, but he now 
involuntarily checked his horse, and gazed for a few moments on 
the beautiful and singular aspect which the landscape had so 
suddenly assumed. As he so gazed, he observed in a field at some 
little distance three or four persons gathered round a bank, and 
among them he thought he recognised the comely form of Rowland 
Lester. A second inspection convinced him that he was right in 
his conjecture, and, turning from the road through a gap in the 
hedge, he made towards the group in question. He had not pro- 
ceeded far, before he saw that the remainder of the party was 
composed of Lester's daughters, the lover of the elder, and a 
fourth, whom he recognised as a celebrated French botanist, who 
had lately arrived in England, and who was now making an 
amateur excursion throughout the more attractive districts of the 
inland. 

The earl guessed rightly, that Monsieur de N ■ had not 

l'eglected to apply to Aram for assistance in a pursuit which the 
latter was known to have cultivated with such success, and that 
he had been conducted hither as to a place affording some 
specimen or another not unworthy of research. He now, giving 
his horse to bis groom, joined the grour 



ruaEirx AEA?J 



CHAPTER III. 

WHEREIN THE EABL AND THE STUDENT CONVERSE ON GEAVB 
BUT DELIGHTFUL MATTERS. — THE STUDENT'S NOTION OF THB 
ONLY EARTHLY HAPPINESS. 



Aram. If the witch Hope forbids us to be wise, 
Yet when I turn to these— Woe's only friends, 

[Pointing to his bm.kn. 
And with their weird and eloquent voices calm 
The stir and Babel of the world within, 
I can but dream that my vex'd years at last 
Khali find the quiet of a hermit's cell : 
And, neighbouring not this worn and jaded world, 
Beneath the lambent eyes of the loved stars, 
And with the hollow rocks and sparry caves, 
The tides, and all the many music'd winds, 
My oracles and co-mates ; — watch my life 
Glide down the Stream of Knowledge, and behold 
Its waters with a musing stillness glass 
The thousand hues of Nature and of Heaven. 

From " Eugene Aram," a MS. Tragedy. 



The earl continued with the party he had joined ; and when 
their occupation was concluded, and they turned homeward, he 
accepted the squire's frank invitation to partake of some refresh- 
ment at the manor-house. It so chanced, or perhaps the earl so 
contrived it, that Aram and himself, in their way to the village, 
lingered a little behind the rest, and that their conversation was 
thus, for a few minutes, not altogether general. 

" Is it I, Mr. Aram," said the earl, smiling, " or is it Fate that 
has made you a convert ? The last time we sagely and quietly 
conferred together, you contended that the more the circle of 
existence was contracted, the more we clung to a state of pure and 
all self-dependent intellect, the greater our chance of happiness. 
Thus you denied that we were rendered happier by our luxuries, by 
our ambition, or by our affections. Love and its ties were banished 
from your solitary Utopia ; and you asserted that the true wisdom 
of life lay solely in the cultivation — not of our feelings, but our 
facidties. You know, I held a different doctrine : and it is with 
the natural triumph of a hostile partisan that I hear you are about 
to relinquish the practice of one of your dogmas ; — in consequence, 
may I hope, of having forsworn the theory ?" 

" Xot so, my lord," answered Aram, colouring slightly; "my 
weakness only proves that my theory is difficult, — not that it 
is wrong. I still venture to think it true. More pain than 
pleasure is occasioned us by others — banish others, and you are 
necessarily the gainer. Mental activity and moral quietude are 
the two states which, were they perfected and united, would blend 



S6 JSTJG"EK£ &B.AM. 

into happiness. It is such a union which constitutes all we 
imagine of heaven, or conceive of the majestic felicity of a God." 

" Y et, while you are on earth you will be (believe me) happier in 
the state you are about to choose," said the earl. " Who could look 
at that enchanting face (the speaker directed his eyes towards 
Madeline) and not feel that it gave a pledge of happiness that could 
not be broken ?" 

It was not in the nature of Aram to like any allusion to himself, 
and still less to his affections ; he turned aside his head and 
remained silent : the wary earl discovered his indiscretion imme- 
diately. 

"But let us put aside individual cases," said he, — " the meum 
xnd the tuum forbid all general argument : and confess that there 
is for the majority of human beings a greater happiness in love 
than in the sublime state of passionless intellect to which you 
would so chillingly exalt us. lias not Cicero said wisely, that we 
ought no more to subject too slavishly our affections, than to elevate 
them too imperiously into our masters ? Neqae se nimium erigere, 
nee subjacere serviliter." 

' ' Cicero loved philosophising better than philosophy," said Aram, 
coldly : " but surely, my lord, the affections give us pain as well as 
pleasure ? The doubt, the dread, the restlessness of love, — surely 
these prevent the passion from constituting a happy state of mind ? 
To me, one knowledge alone seems sufficient to embitter all its 
enjoyments — the knowledge that the object beloved must die. 
What a perpetuity of fear that knowledge creates ! The avalanche 
that may crush us depends upon a single breath ! " 

" Is not that too refined a sentiment ? Custom surely blunts us to 
every chance, every danger, that may happen to us hourly. Were 
the avalanche over you for a day, I grant your state of torture : 
but had an avalanche rested over you for years, and not yet fallen, 
you would forget that it could ever fall ; you would eat, sleep, and 
make love, as if it were not ! " 

" Ha ! my lord, you say well — you say well," said Aram, with a 
marked change of countenance ; and, quickening his pace, he joined 
Lester's side, and the thread of the previous conversation was 
broken off. 

The earl afterwards, in walking through the garden (an excursion 
which he proposed himself, for he was somewhat of an horticultu- 
rist), took an opportunity to renew the subject. 

" You will pardon me," said he, " but I cannot convince myself 
that man would be happier were he without emotions ; and that to 
enjoy life he should be solely dependent on himself." 

" Yet it seems to me," said Aram, " a truth easy of proof. If we 
love, we place our happiness in others. The moment we place our 
happiness in others, comes uncertainty, but uncertainty is the bane 
of happiness. Children are the source of anxiety to their parents ; 
his mistress to the lover. Change, accident, death, all menace us 
in each person whom we regard. Every new affection opens new 
channels by which grief can invade us ; but, you will say, by 
which joy also can flow in : — granted ! But in human life is there 



KUQEWK ARAM. 37 

not more grief than joy ? What is it that renders the balance even? 
What makes the staple of our happiness, — endearing to us the life 
at which we should otherwise repine f It is the mere passive, yet 
stirring, consciousness of life itself ! — of the sun and the air, — of 
the physical being ; but this consciousness every emotion disturbs. 
Yet could you add to its tranquillity an excitement that nevei 
exhausts itself, — that becomes refreshed, not sated, with every new 
possession, then you would obtain happiness. There is only one 
excitement of this divine order, —that of intellectual culture. 
Behold now my theory ! Examine it — it contains no flaw. But if." 
renewed Aram, after a pause, " a man is_ subject to fate solely m 
himself, not in others, he soon hardens his mind against all fear, 
and prepares it for all events. A little philosophy enables him to 
bear bodily pain, or the common infirmities of flesh : by a philo- 
sophy somewhat deeper, he can conquer the ordinary reverses of 
fortune, the dread of shame, and the last calamity of death. But 
what philosophy could ever thoroughly console mm for the ingra- 
titude of a friend, the worthlessness of a child, the death of a mis- 
tress ? Hence, only, when he stands alone, can a man's soul say to 
Fate, 'I defy thee.'" 

" You think, then," said the earl, reluctantly diverting the con- 
versation into a new channel, " that in the pursuit of knowledge 
lies our only active road to real happiness. Yet here how eternal 
must be the disappointments even of the most successful ! Does not 
Boyle tell us of a man who, after devoting his whole life to the 
study of one mineral, confessed himself, at last, ignorant of all its 
properties i" 

"Had the object of his study been himself, and not the mineral, 
he would not have been so unsuccessful a student," said Aram, 
smiling. " Yet," added he, in a graver tone, " we do indeed 
cleave the vast heaven of Truth with a weak and crippled wing : 
and often we are appalled in our way by a dread sense of the 
immensity around us, and of the inadequacy of our own strength. 
But there is a rapture in the breath of the pure and difficult air, 
and in the progress by which we compass earth, the while we draw 
nearer to the stars, that again exalts us beyond ourselves, and 
reconciles the true student unto all things, even to the hardest of 
them all, — the conviction how feebly our performance can ever 
imitate the grandeur of our ambition ! as you see the spark fly 
upwards, — sometimes not falling to earth till it be dark and 
quenched, — thus soars, whither it recks not, so that the direction 
be above, the luminous spirit of him who aspires to Truth j nor will 
it back to the vile and heavy clay from which it sprang, until th« 
light whioh bore it upward be no more ' *' 



88 KUGI-JiE AE.ASJ. 



CHAPTER IV- 

DEEPEH EXAMINATION INTO THE STUDENT'S HEAET. — THE TISIT 
TO THE CASTLE.— PHILOSOPHY PUT TO THE TEIAL. 



I weigh not Fortune's frown or smile, 

I joy not much in earthly joys, 
I seek not state, I seek not style, 

I am not fond of Fancy's toys ; 
I rest so pleased with what I have, 
I wish no more, no more I crave. — Joshua Sylvester. 



The reader will pardon me if I somewhat clog his interest in my 
tale by the didactic character of brief conversations I have just 

given, and which I am compelled to renew. It is not only the 
istory of his life, but the character and tone of Aram's mind, that 
I wish to stamp upon my page. Fortunately, however, the path 
my story assumes is of such a nature that, in order toeffect this 
object, I shall never have to desert, and scarcely again even to 
linger by, the way. 

Every one knows the magnificent moral of Goethe's_ " Faust." 
Every one knows that sublime discontent — that chafing at the 
bounds of human knowledge — that yearning for the intellectual 
paradise beyond, which " the sworded angel " forbids us to 
approach — that daring, yet sorrowful state of mind — that sense of 
defeat, even in conquest, which Goethe has embodied — a picture of 
the loftiest grief of which the soul is capable, and which may remind 
us of the profound and august melancholy which the great sculptor 
breathed into the repose of the noblest of mythological heroes, 
when he represented the god resting after his labours, as if more 
convinced of their vanity than elated with their exten'M 

In this portrait, the grandeur of which the wild scenes Jhat follow 
in the drama we refer to, do not (strangely wonderful as they are) 
perhaps altogether sustain, Goethe has bequeathed to the gaze of a 
calmer and more practical posterity the burning and restless spirit 
— the feverish desire for knowledge more ■ftigue than useful which 
characterised the exact epoch in the intellectual history of Germany 
in which the poem was inspired and produced. 

At these bitter waters, the Marah of the streams of wisdom, the 
soul of the man whom we have made the hero of these pages had 
also, and not lightly quaffed. The properties of a mind, more calm 
and stern than belonged to the visionaries of the Hartz and the 
Danube, might indeed have preserved him from that thirst for the 
Impossible, which gives so peculiar a romance, not only to the 
poetry, but the philosophy, of the German people. But if he 
rejected the superstitions, he did not also reject the bewilderments, 
of the mind. He loved to plunge into the dark and metaphysio«i 



EUGENE AUAM. 8« 

■ubtleties which human genius has called daringly forth from the 
realities of things : — 

" to spin 

A shroud of thought, to hide him from the iun, 

Of this familiar life, which seems to be, 

But is not — or is but quaint mockery 

Of all we would believe ; or sadly blame 

The jarring and inexplicable frame 

Of this wrong world : and then anatomize 

The purposes and thoughts of man, whose eyc» 

Were closed in distant years ; or widely guess 

The issue of the earth's great business, 

When we shall be, as we no longer are •, — 

Like babbling gossips, safe, who hear the war 

Of winds, and sigh I — but tremble not ! " 

Much in him was a type, or rather forerunner, of the intellectual 
spirit that broke forth among our countrymen when we were chil- 
dren, and is now slowly dying away amidst the loud events and 
absorbing struggles of the awakening world. But in one respect 
he stood aloof from all his tribe — in his hard indifference to worldly 
ambition and his contempt of fame. As some sages have considered 
the universe a dream, and self the only reality, so in his austere 
and collected reliance upon his own mind — the gathering in, as it 
were, of his resources, he appeared to regard the pomps of the 
world as shadows, and the life of his own spirit the only substance. 
He had built a city and a tower within the Shinar of his own heart, 
whence he might look forth, unscathed and unmoved, upon the 
deluge that broke over the rest of the earth. 

Only in one instance, and that, as we have seen, after much 
struggle, he had given way to the emotions that agitate his kind, 
and had surrendered himself to the dominion of another. This was 
against his theories — but what theories ever resist love ? In yield- 
ing, however, thus far, he seemed more on his guard than ever 
against a broader encroachment. He had admitted one "fair 
spirit " for his " minister," but it was only with a deeper fervour 
to invoke " the desert" as "his dwelling-place." Thus, when the 
earl, who, like most practical judges of manldnd, loved to apply 
to each individual the motives that actuate the mass, and who only 
unwillingly, and somewhat sceptically, assented to the exceptions, 
and was driven to search for peculiar clues to the eccentric instance, 
— finding, to his secret triumph, that Aram had admitted one 
intruding emotion into his boasted circle of indifference, imagined 
that he should easily induce him (the spell once broken) to receive 
another, he was surprised and puzzled to discover himself in the 
wrong. 

Lord at that time had been lately called into the adminis- 
tration, and he was especially anxious to secure the support of all 
the talent that he could enlist on his behalf. The times were those 
in which party ran high, and in which individual political writings 
were honoured with an importance which the periodical press m 
general has now almost wholly monopolised. On the side opposed 
to government, writers of great name and high attainments had 
shone with peculiar effect, and the earl was naturally desirous that 



90 EUGENE AKAM. 

they should he opposed by an equal array of intellect on the side 
espoused by himself. The name alone of Eugene Aram, at a day 
■when scholarship was renown, would have been no ordinary acqui- 
sition to the cause of the earl's party ; but that judicious and 
penetrating nobleman perceived that Aram's abilities, his various 
research, his extended views, his facility of argument, and the heat 
and energy of his eloquence, might be rendered of an importance 
which could not have "been anticipated from, the name alone, how- 
ever eminent, of a retired and sedentary scholar: he was not, 
therefore, without an interested motive in the attentions he now 
lavished upon the student, and in his curiosity to put to the proof 
the disdain of all worldly enterprise, and worldly temptation, 
which Aram affected. He could not but think, that, to a man poor 
and lowly of circumstance, conscious of superior acquirements, 
about to increase his wants by admitting to them a partner, and 
arrived at that age when the calculations of interest and the 
whispers of ambition have usually most weight : — he could not but 
think that to such a man the dazzling prospeets of social advance- 
ment, the hope of the high fortunes, and the powerful and glittering 
influence which political life, in England, offers to the aspirant, 
might be rendered altogether irresistible. 

He took several opportunities, in the course of the next week, of 
renewing his conversation with Aram, and of artfully turning it 
into the channels which he thought most likely to produce the im- 
pression he desired to create. He was somewhat baffled, but by 
no means dispirited, in his attempts : but he resolved to defer his 
ultimate proposition until it could be made to the fullest advan- 
tage. He had engaged the Lesters to promise to pass a day at the 
castle ; and with great difficulty, and at the earnest intercession 
of Madeline, Aram was prevailed upon to accompany them. So 
extreme was his distaste to general society, and, from some motive 
or another more powerful than mere constitutional reserve, so 
invariably had he for years refused all temptations to enter it, that, 
natural as this concession was rendered by his approaching mar- 
riage to one of the party, it filled him with a sort of terror and 
foreboding of evil. It was as if he were passing beyond the 
boundary of some law, on which the very tenure of his existence 
depended. After he had consented, a trembling came over him ; he 
hastily left the room, and, till the day arrived, was observed by 
his friends of the manor-house to be more gloomy and abstracted 
than they ever had known him, even at the earliest period of ac- 
quaintance. 

On the day itself, as they proceeded to the castle, Madeline per- 
ceived, with a tearful repentance of her interference, that he sat 
by her side cold and rapt ; and that, once or twice, when his 
eyes dwelt upon her, it was with an expression of reproach and 
distrust. 

It was not till they entered the lofty hall of the castle, when 
a vulgar diffidence woidd have been most abashed, that Aram re- 
covered himself. The earl was standing — the centre of a group in 
the secess of a window in the saloon, opening upon an extensive 



EUGENE ARAM. 91 

and stately terrace. He came forward to receive them with the 
polished and warm kindness which he bestowed upon all his in- 
feriors in rank. He complimented the sisters ; he jested with 
Lester ; but to Aram only he manifested less the courtesy of kind- 
ness than of respect. He took his arm, and, leaning on it with a 
light touch, led him to the group at the window. It was composed 
of the most distinguished public men in the country, and among 
them (the earl himself was connected, through an illegitimate 
branch, with the reigning monarch) was a prince of the blood 
ro5 r al. 

To these, whom he had prepared for the introduction, he seve- 
rally, and with an easy grace, presented Aram, and then, falling 
back a few steps, he watched, with a keen but seemingly careless 
eye, the effect which so sudden a contact with royalty itself would 
produce on the mind of the shy and secluded student, whom it was 
his object to dazzle and overpower. It was at this moment that 
the native dignity of Aram, which his studies, unworldly as they 
were, had certainly tended to increase, displayed itself, in a trial 
which, poor as it was in abstract theory, was far from despicable 
in the eyes of the sensible and practised courtier. He received 
with his usual modesty, but not with his usual shrinking and 
embarrassment on such occasions, the compliments he received ; a 
certain and far from ungraceful pride was mingled with his sim- 
plicity of demeanour ; no fluttering of manner betrayed that he 
was either dazzled or humbled by the presence in which he stood ; 
and the earl could not but confess that there was never a more 
favourable opportunity for comparing the aristocracy of genius 
with that of birth ; it was one of those homely every-day triumphs 
of intellect which please us more than they ought to do, for, after 
all, they are more common than the men of courts are willing to 
believe. 

Lord did not, however, long leave Aram to the support of 

his own unassisted presence of mind and calmness of nerve ; he 
advanced, and led the conversation, with his usual tact, into a 
course which might at once please Aram, and afford him the op- 
portunity to shine. The earl had imported from Italy some of the 
most beautiful specimens of classic sculpture which this country 
now possesses. These were disposed in niches around the magnifi- 
cent apartment in which the guests were assembled, and as the 
earl pointed them out, and illustrated each from the beautiful 
anecdotes and golden allusions of antiquity, he felt that he was 
affording to Aram a gratification he could never have experienced 
before ; and in the expression of which the grace and copiousness 
of his learning woidd find vent. Nor was he disappointed. The 
cheek, which till then had retained its steady paleness, now caught 
the glow of enthusiasm : and in a few moments theie was not a 
person in the group who did not feel, and cheerfully feel, the su- 
periority of the one who, in birth and fortune, was immeasurably 
the lowest of all. 

The English aristocracy, whatever be the faults of their educa- 
tian, have at least the merit of being alive to tbe possession, and 



9i; EUGENE ABA.M. 

easily warmed to the possessor, of classical attainments : perhaps 
too much so ; for they are thus apt to judge all talent by a classical 
standard, and all theory by classical experience. "Without — save 
in very rare instances — the right to boast of any deep learning, 
they are far more susceptible than the nobility of any other nation 
to the spiritum Commute. They are easily and willingly charmed 
back to the studies which, if not eagerly pursued in their youth, 
are still entwined with all their youth's brightest recollections ; 
the schoolboy's prize, and the master's praise, the first ambition, 
and its first reward. A felicitous quotation, a delicate allusion, 
are never lost upon their ear ; and the veneration which, at Eton, 
they bore to the best verse-maker in the school, tinctures their 
judgment of others throughout life, mixing, I know not what, 
both of liking and esteem, with their admiration of one who uses 
his classical weapons with a scholar's dexterity, not a pedant's 
inaptitude : for such a one there is a sort of agreeable confusion in 
their respect ; they are inclined, unconsciously, to believe that he 
must necessarily be a high gentleman — ay, and something of a good 
fellow into the bargain. 

It happened, then, that Aram could not have dwelt upon a theme 
more likely to arrest the spontaneous interest of those with whom 
he now conversed — men themselves of more cultivated minds than 
usual, and more capable than most (from that acute perception of 
real talent, which is produced by habitual political warfare), of 
appreciating not only his endowments, but his facility in applying 
them. 

" You are right, my lord," said Sir , the whipper-in of the 

party, taking the earl aside ; " he would be an inestimable 

pamphleteer." 

" Could you get him to write us a sketch of tho state of parties ; 
luminous, eloquent ? " whispered a lord of the bedchamber. 

The earl answered by a bon mot, and turned to a bust of Caracalla. 

The hours at that time were (in the country at least) not late, 
and the earl wa,s one of the first introducers of the polished fashion 
of France, by which we testify a preference of the society of the 
women to that of our own sex; so that, in leaving the dining-room, 
it was not so late but that the greater part of the guests walked 
out upon the terrace, and admired the expanse of country which it 
overlooked, and along which the thin veil of the twilight began 
now to hover. 

Having safely deposited his royal guest at a whist table, and thus 
left himself a free agent, the earl, inviting Aram to join him, 
sauntered among the loiterers on the terrace for a few moments, 
and then descended a broad flight of steps which brought them into 
a more shaded and retired walk ; on either side of which rows of 
orange-trees gave forth their fragrance, while, to the right, sudden 
and numerous vistas were cut amidst the more regular and dense 
foliage, affording glimpses — now of some rustic statue — now of 
some lonely temple — now of some quaint fountain, on the play of 
whose waters the first stars had begun to tremble. 

It was one of those magnificent gardens, modelled from tbe 



KUGXJfK AKAM. 93 

otately glories of Versailles, which it is now the mode to decry, but 
which breathe so unequivocally of the palace. I grant that they 
deck Nature with somewhat too prolix a grace; but is Beauty 
always best seen in deshabille f And with what associations of the 
brightest traditions connected with Nature they ..ink her more 
luxuriant loveliness ! Must we breathe only the malaria of Rome 
to be capable of feeling the interest attached to the fountain or the 
statue ? 

"1 am glad," said the earl, "that you admired my bust of Cicero 
— it is from an original very lately discovered. What grandeur in 
the brow !— what energy in the mouth and downward bend of the 
head ! It is pleasant even to imagine we gaze upon the likeness of 
so bright a spirit : — and confess, at least of Cicero, that in reading 
the aspirations and outpourings of his mind, you have felt your 
apathy to fame melting away ; you have shared the desire to live 
in the future age, — ' the longing after immortality ! '" 

"Was it not that longing," replied Aram, " which gave to the 
character of Cicero its poorest and most frivolous infirmity ? Has 
it not made him, glorious as he is despite of it, a byword in the 
mouth of every schoolboy ? Whenever you mention his genius, do 
you not hear an appendix on his vanity i" 

" Yet without that vanity, that desire for a name with posterity, 
would he have been equally great — would he equally have cultivated 
his genius?" 

"Probably, my lord, he would not have equally cultivated his 
genius, but in reality he might have been equally great. A man 
often injures his mind by the means that increase his genius. You 
think this, my lord, a paradox ; but examine it. How many men 
of genius have been but ordinary men, take them from the par- 
ticular objects in which they shine ! Why is this, but that in 
cultivating one branch of intellect, they neglect the rest ? Nay, the 
very torpor of the reasoning faculty has often kindled the imagina- 
tive. Lucretius is said to have composed his sublime poem under 
the influence of a delirium. The susceptibilities that we create or 
refine by the pursuit of one object weaken our general reason ; and 
I may compare with some justice the powers of the mind to the 
faculties of the body, in which squinting is occasioned by an in- 
equality of strength in the eyes, and discordance of voice by the 
same inequality in the ears." 

" I believe you are right," said the earl ; " yet I own I willingly 
forgive Cicero lor his vanity, if it contributed to the production of 
his orations and his essays. And he is a greater man, even with 
his vanity unconquered, than if he had conquered his foible, and, 
in doing so, taken away the incitements to his genius." 

" A greater man in the world's eye, my lord, but scarcely in 
reality. Had Homer written his Iliad and then burned it, would 
his srenius have been less ? The world would have known nothing 
of him ; but would he have been a less extraordinary man oa 
that account ? We are too apt, my lord, to confound greatness and 
fame." 

" There is one rcumstance " added Aram, after a pause, " that 



1-1 EUGENE A BAM. 

should diminish, our respect for renown. Errors of life, as well as 
foibles of character, are often the real enhancers of celebrity. With- 
out his errors, I doubt whether Henri Quatre would have become 
the idol of a people. How many Whartons has the world known, 
who. deprived of their frailties, had been inglorious ! The light 
that you so admire, reaches you only through the distance of time, 
on account of the angles and unevenness of the body whence it 
emanates. Were the surface of the moon smooth it would be 
invisible." 

' I admire your illustrations," said the earl ; " but I reluctantly 
submit to your reasonings. You would then neglect your powers, 
lest they should lead you into errors ? " 

" Pardon me, my lord ; it is because I think all the powers should 
be cultivated, that I quarrel with the exclusive cultivation of one. 
And it is only because I would strengthen the whole mind that I 
dissent from the reasonings of those who tell you to consult your 
genius." 

"But your genius may serve mankind more than this general 
cultivation of intellect ?" 

" My lord," replied Aram, with a mournful cloud upon his 
countenance, "that argument may have weight with those who 
think mankind can be effectually served, though they may be 
often dazzled, by the labours of an individual. Biit, indeed, this 

Eerpetual itXk of ' mankind' signifies nothing : each of us consults 
is proper happiness, and we consider him a madman who ruins his 
own peace of mind by an everlasting fretfulness of philanthropy." 
This was a doctrine that half pleased, half displeased the earl : it 
shadowed forth the most dangerous notions which Aram entertained 
"Well, well," said the noble host, as, after a short contest on the 
ground of his guest's last remark, they left off where they began, 
" let us drop these general discussions : I have a particular pro- 
position to unfold. We have, I trust, Mr. Aram, seen enough of 
each other to feel that we can lay a sure foundation for mutual 
esteem. For my part, I own frankly, that I have never met with 
one who has inspired me with a sincerer admiration. I am desirous 
that your talents and great learning should be known in the widest 
sphere. You may despise fame, but you must permit your friends 
the weakness to wish you justice, and themselves triumph. You 
know my post in the present administration : the place of my 
secretary is one of great trust — some influence, and fair emolument. 
I offer it to you — accept it, and you will confer upon me an honour 
and an obligation. \ ou will have your own separate house ; or 
apartments in mine, solely appropriated to your use. Your privacy 
will never be disturbed. Every arrangement shall be made for 
yourself and your bride, that either of you can suggest. Leisure 
for your own pursuits you will have, too, in abundance — there are 
others who will perform all that is toilsome in the mere details of 
your office. In London, you will see around you the most eminent 
living men of all nations, and in all pursuits. If you contract 
(which believe me is possible — it is a tempting game !) any in- 
clination towards public life, you will have the most brilliant 



opportunities afforded you, and foretell you the most signal 
success. Stay yet one moment : — for this you -will owe me no 
thanks. Were I not sensible that I consult my own interests in 
this proposal, I should be courtier enough to suppress it." 

" My lord," saidAram, in a voice which, in spite of its calmness, 
betrayed that he was affected, " it seldom happens to a man of 
my secluded habits, and lowly pursuits, to have the philosophy he 
affects put to so severe a trial. I am grateful to you— deeply grate- 
ful for an offer so munificent— so undeserved. I am yet more 
grateful that it allows me to sound 'the strength of my own heart, 
and to find that I did not too highly rate it. Look, my lord, from 
the spot where we now stand" (the moon had risen, and they had 
now returned to the terrace) ; " in the vale below, and far among 
those trees, lies my home. More than two years ago I came thither 
to fix the resting-place of a sad and troubled spirit. There have I 
centred, all my wishes and my hopes ; and there may I breathe my 
last ! My lord, you will not think me ungrateful that my choice 
is made; and you will not blame my motive, though you may 
despise my wisdom." 

" But," saidthe earl, astonished, "you cannot foresee all the advan- 
tages you would renounce ? At your age — with your intellect — to 
choose the living sepulchre of a hermitage — it was wise to recon- 
cile yourself to it, but it is not wise to prefer it ! Nay, nay ; con- 
sider — pause. I am in no haste for your decision ; and what advan- 
tages have you in your retreat, that you will not possess in a greater 
degree with me? Quiet? — I pledge it to you under my roof. 
Solitude ? — you shall have it at your will. Books ? — what are those 
which you, which any individual may possess, to the public insti- 
tutions, the magnificent collections, of the metropolis ? What else 
is it you enjoy yonder, and cannot enjoy with me ? " 

"Liberty!" said Aram, energetically. — "Liberty! the wild 
sense of independence. Could I exchange the lonely stars and the 
free air, for the poor lights and feverish atmosphere of worldly 
life ? Could I surrender my mood, with its thousand eccentricities 
and humours— its cloud and shadow — to the eyes of strangers, or 
veil it from their gaze by the irksomeness of an eternal hypocrisy ? 
No, my lord ! I am too old to turn disciple to the world ! You 
promise me solitude and quiet. What charm would they have for 
me, if I felt they were held from the generosity of another ? The 
attraction of solitude is only in its independence. You offer me 
the circle, but not the magic which made it holy. Books ! They, 
years since, would have tempted me ; but those whose wisdom I 
have already drained, have taught me now almost enough : and 
the two books whose interest can never be exhausted — Nature and 
my own heart — will suffice for the rest of life. My lord, I require 
no time for consideration." 

" And you positively refuse me ? " 

" Gratefully refuse you." 

The earl peevishly walked away for one moment ; but it was not 
in his nature to lose himself for more. 

" Mr. Aram," said he, frankly, and holding out his hand, " yow 



9'> JSOOi-XE Aitaar. 

have chosen nobly, if not wisely ; and though I cannot forgive yoa 
for depriving me of such a companion, I thank you for teaching 
me such a lesson. Henceforth I will believe that philosophy may 
exist in practice, and that a contempt for wealth and for honours 
is not the mere profession of discontent. This is the first time, in 
a various and experienced life, that I have found a man sincerely 
deaf to the temptations of the world, — and that man of such endow- 
ments ! If ever you see cause to alter a theory that I still think 
erroneous, though lofty — remember me ; and at all times, and on 
all occasions," he added, with a smile, " when a friend becomes a 
necessary evil, call to mind our starlight walk on the castle 
terrace." 

Aram did not mention to Lester, or even Madeline, the above 
conversation. The whole of the next day he shut himself up at 
home ; and when he again appeared at the manor-house he heard, 
with evident satisfaction, that the earl had been suddenly sum- 
moned on state affairs to London. 

There was an unaccountable soreness in Aram's mind, which 
made him feel a resentment — a suspicion against all who sought to 
lure him from his retreat. "Thank Heaven!" thought he, when 
he heard of the earl's departure ; "we shall not meet for another 
year ! " He was mistaken. — Another year ! 



CHAPTER V- 

IN WHICH THE STOET BETUBNS TO WALTEE AND THE COBPOBAL.— 
THE EENCONTEE WITH A STEANGEE, AND HOW THE STEANGEE 
TEOVES TO BE NOT ALTOGETHEE A STEANGEE. 



Being got out of town 'in the road to Penaflor, master of my own action, and 
forty good ducats, the first thing I did was to give my mule her head, and to go at 
what pace she pleased. 

******** 

I left them in the inn, and continued my journey ; I was hardly got half a mile 
farther, when I met a cavalier very genteel, &c— Gil Bias. 



It was broad and sunny noon on the second day of their journey, 
as "Walter Lester, and the valorous attendant with whom it had 
pleased Fate to endow him, rode slowly into a small town, in which 
the oorporal, in his own heart, had resolved to bait his Roman- 
nosed horse and refresh himself. Two comely inns had the younger 
traveller of the two already passed with an indifferent air, as if 
neither bait nor refreshment made any part of the necessary con- 
cerns of this habitable world. And in passing each of the said 
hostelries, the Roman-nosed horse had uttered a snort of indignant 
surprise, and the worthy corporal had responded to the quadrupedal 
remonstrance by a loud hem. It seemed, however, that Walter 
heard neither of the above significant admonitions ; and now the 



FUUKNB 4E.VJi T, 

town was nearly passed, and a steep hill, that seemed winding 
away into eternity, already presented itself to the rueful gaze of 
the corporal. 

" The hoy's clean mad," grunted Bunting to himself—" must 
do my duty to him — give him a hint.'' 

Pursuant to this notahle and conscientious determination, Bunt- 
ing jogged his horse into a trot, and coming alongside of Walter 
put his hand to his hat and said — 

" Weather warm, your honour — horses knocked up — next town 
far as hell !— halt a bit here— augh ! " 

"Ha! that is very true, Bunting; I had quite forgotten the 
length of our journey. But see, there Is a sign-post yonder ; we 
will take advantage of it." 

" Augh ! and your honour's right — fit for the forty-second," said 
the corporal, falling back ; and in a few moments he and his 
charger found themselves, to their mutual delight, entering the 
yard of a small, but comfortable-looking inn. 

The host, a man of a capacious stomach and a rosy cheek — in 
short, a host whom your heart warms to see, stepped forth imme- 
diately, held the stirrup for the young squire (for the corporal's 
movements were too stately to be rapid), and ushered him with a 
how, a smile, and a flourish of his napkin, into one of those little 
quaint rooms, with cupboards bright with high glasses and old 
china, that it pleases us still to find extant in the old-fashioned 
inns, in our remoter roads and less Londonised districts. 

Mine host was an honest fellow, and not above his profession ; 
he stirred the fire, dusted the table, brought the bill of fare, and a 
newspaper seven days old, and then bustled away to order the 
dinner, and chat with the corporal. That accomplished hero had 
already thrown the stables into commotion, and frightening the 
two ostlers from their attendance on the steeds of more peaceable 
men, had set them both at leading his own horse and his master's 
to and fro the yard, to be cooled into comfort and appetite. 

He was now busy in the kitchen, where he had seized the reins 
of government, sent the scullion to see if the hens had laid any 
fresh eggs, and drawn upon himself the objurgations of a very thin 
cook with a squint. 

" Tell you, ma'am, you are wrong — quite wrong — seen the world 
— old soldier — and know how to fry eggs better than any she in the 
three kingdoms — hold jaw — mind your own business — where's the 
frying-pan ? — baugh ! ' 

So completely did the corporal feel himself in his element, while 
he was putting everybody else out of the way, and so comfortable 
did he find his new quarters, that he resolved that the " bait ' 
should be at all events prolonged until his good cheer had been 
deliberately digested, and his customary pipe duly enjoyed. 

Accordingly, but not till Walter had dined, for our man of the 
world knew that it is the tendency of that meal to abate our 
activity, while it increases our good-humour, the corporal presented 
himself to his master, with a grave countenance. 

n 



68 EUGENE AKAJH 

"Greatly vexed, your honour— who'd ha^ie thought it}— Bat 
those large animals are bad on long march." 

'' Why what's the matter now, Bunting ? " 

" Only, sir, that the brown horse is so done up, that I think 
it would be as much as life's worth to go any farther for several 
hours." 

"Very well; and if 1 propose staying here till the evening ? — 
We have ridden far, and are in no great hurry." _ 

" To be sure not — sure and certain not/' cried the corporal. 
" Ah, master, you know how to command, I see. Nothing like 
discretion-^-discretion, sir, is a jewel. Sir, it is more than a jewel 
— it's a pair of stirrups ! " 

" A what, Bunting ? " 

" Pair of stirrups, your honour. Stirrups help us to get on, so 
does discretion ; to get off, ditto discretion. Men without stirrups 
look fine, ride bold, tire soon : men without discretion cut dash, 

but knock up all of a crack. Stirrups but what signifies ? 

Could say much more, your honour, but don't love chatter." 

" Your simile is ingenious enough, if not poetical," said Walter; 
" but it does not hold good to the last. When a man falls, his dis- 
cretion should preserve him ; but he is often dragged in the mud 
by his stirrups. ' 

" Beg pardon — you're wrong," quoth the corporal, nothing taken 
by surprise ; " spoke of the new-fangled stirrups that open, crank, 
when we fall, and let us out of the scrape." * 

Satisfied with this repartee, the corporal now (like an experienced 
jester) withdrew to leave its full effect on the admiration of 
his master. A little before sunset the two travellers renewed their 
journey. 

" I have loaded the pistols, sir," said the corporal, pointing to 
the holsters on Walter's saddle. " It is eighteen miles off to the 
next town — will be dark long before we get there." 

" You did very right, Bunting, though I suppose there is not 
much danger to be apprehended from the gentlemen of the high- 
way." 

" Why, the landlord do say the revarse, your honour, — been 
many robberies lately in these here parts." 

" Well, we are fairly mounted, and you are a formidable-looking 
fellow, Bunting." 

" Oh ! your honour," quoth the corporal, turning his head stiffiy 
away, with a modest simper, " you makes me blush ; though, 
indeed, bating that I have the military air, and am more in th, 
prime of life, your honour is well nigh as awkward a gentleman aa 
myself to come across." 

"Much obliged for the compliment!" said Walter, pushing 
bis horse a little forward: the corporal took the hint and fell 
back. 

It was now that beautiful hour of twilight when lovers grow 

* Of course the corporal does not speak of the patent stirrup: that would be an 
. . louuua. 



Rwiih-Ni; ai;am. yt 

especially tender. The young 1 traveller every instant threw hia 
dark eyes upward, and thought — not of Madeline, but her sister. 
.The corporal himself grew pensive, and in a few moments hia 
whole soul was absorbed in contemplating the forlorn state of the 
abandoned Jaoobina. 

In this melancholy and silent mood, they proceeded onward till 
the shades began to deepen : and by the light of the first stars 
"Walter beheld a small, spare gentleman riding before him on an 
ambling nag, with cropped ears and mane. The rider, as he now 
came up to him, seemed to have passed the grand climacteric, but 
looked hale and vigorous ; and there was a certain air of staid 
and sober aristocracy about him, which involuntarily begat your 
respect. 

He looked hard at Walter as the latter approached, and still 
more hard at the corporal. He seemed satisfied with the survey. 

" Sir," said he, slightly touching his hat to Walter, and with an 
agreeable though rather sharp intonation of voice, " I am very 

flad to see a gentleman of your appearance travelling my road, 
light I request the honour of being allowed to join you so far as 
you go ? To say the truth, I am a little afraid of encountering 
those industrious gentlemen who have been lately somewhat noto- 
rious in thse parts ; and it may be better for all of us to ride in as 
strong a party as possible." 

" Sir," replied Walter, eyeing in his turn the speaker, and in 
his turn also feeling satisfied with the scrutiny, " I am going to 

, where I shall pass the night on my way to town, and shall be 

very happy in your company." 

The corporal uttered a loud hem ; that penetrating man of the 
world was not too well pleased with the advances of a stranger. 

" What fools them boys be ! " thought he, very discontentedly. 
" Howsomever, the man does seem like a decent country gentle- 
man, and we are two to one : besides, he's old, little, and — augh 
baugh — I dare say we are safe enough, for all that he can do." 

The stranger possessed a polished and well-bred demeanour ; he 
talked freely and copiously, and his conversation was that of a 
shrewd and cultivated man. He informed Walter, that not only 
the roads had been infested by those more daring riders common 
at that day, and to whose merits we ourselves have endeavoured 
to do justice in a former work of blessed memory, but that 
several houses had been lately attempted, and two absolutely 
plundered. 

*' For myself," he added, " I have no money to signify, about 
my person : my watch is only valuable to me for the time it haa 
been in my possession : and if the rogues robbed one civilly, I 
should not so much mind encountering them : but they are a 
desperate set, and offer violence when there is nothing to be got by 
it. Have you travelled far to-day, sir ? " 

" Some six or seven-and-twenty miles," replied Walter. " I am 
proceeding to London, and nofwilling to distress my horses by too 
rapid a journey." 

" Very right, very good ; and horses, sir, are not now what they 



100 EDGENE AKAM 

used to be when I was a young man. Ah, what wagers I used to 
win then ! Horses galloped, sir, when I was twenty ; they trotted 
when I was thirty-five ; but they only amble now. Sir, if it does 
not tax your patience too severely, let us give our nags some hay 
and water at the half-way house yonder." 

"Walter assented ; they stopped at a little solitary inn by the 
eide of the road, and the host came out with great obsequiousness 
when he heard the voice of "Walter's companion. 

"Ah, Sir Peter!" said he, " and how be' st your honour? — fine 
night, Sir Peter — hope you'll get home safe, Sir Peter." 

" Safe— ay ! indeed, Jock, I hope so too. Has all been quiet here 
tliis last night or two ? " 

" Whish, sir ! " whispered my host, jerking his thumb back 
towards the house; "there be two ugly customers within I does 
not know : they have got famous good horses, and are drinking 
hard. I can't say as I knows anything agen 'em, but I think your 
honours had better be jogging." 

" Aha ! thank ye, Jock, thank ye. Never mind the hay now," 
said Sir Peter, pulling away the reluctant mouth of his nag ; and 
turning to Walter, " Come, sir, let us move on. "Why, zounds ! 
where is that servant of yours ? " 

"Walter now perceived, with great vexation, that the corporal 
had disappeared within the alehouse ; and looking through the 
casement, on which the ruddy light of the fire played cheerily, he 
saw the man of the world lifting a little measure of "the pure 
creature" to his lips : and close by the hearth, at a small round 
table, covered with glasses, pipes, &c, he beheld two men eyeing 
the tall corporal very wistfully, and of no prepossessing appearance 
themselves. One, indeed, as the fire played full on his counte- 
nance, was a person of singularly rugged and sinister features ; 
and this man, he now remarked, was addressing himself with a 
grim smile to the corporal, who, setting down his little " noggin," 
regarded him with a stare, which appeared to "Walter to denote 
recognition. This survey was the operation of a moment ; for Sir 
Peter took it upon himself to despatch the landlord into the house, 
to order forth the unseasonable carouser ; and presently the cor- 
poral stalked out, and having solemnly remounted, the whole trio 
set onward in a brisk trot. As soon as they were without sight of 
the alehouse, the corporal brought the aquiline profile of his gaunt 
steed on a level with his master's horse. 

"Augh, sir!" said he, with more than his usual energy of 
utterance, " I seed him ! " 

"Him! whom?" 

" Man with ugly face what drank at Peter Dealtry's, and went 
to Master Aram's, — knew him in a crack, — sure he's a Tartar ! " 

" What ! does your servant recognise one of those suspicious 
fellows whom Jock warned us against ? " cried Sir Peter, pricking 
up his ears. 

"So it seems, sir," said Walter: "he saw him once before, 
many miles hence ; but I fancy he knows nr thing really to hia 
prejudice." 



>:w;ene ARAM. 101 

" A ugh ! " cried the corporal : " he's d — d ugly, anyhow ! " 

' That's a tall fellow of yours," said Sir Peter, jerking up his 
chin with that peculiar motion common to the brief in stature, 
when they are covetous of elongation. " He looks military : — has 
he been in the army f — Ay, 1 thought so ; one of the King of 
Prussia's grenadiers, I suppose ? Faith, I hear hoofs be- 
hind ! " 

" Hem ! " cried the corporal, again coming alongside of his mas- 
ter. " Beg pardon, sir — served in the forty-second — nothing like 
regular line — stragglers always cut off; — had rather not straggle 
just now — enemy behind ! " 

Walter looked back and saw two men approaching them at a 
hand- gallop. " We are a match at least for them, sir," said he, 
to his new acquaintance. 

" I am devilish glad I met you," was Sir Peter's rather selfish 
Teply. 

" 'Tis he ! 'tis the devil ! " grunted the corporal, as the two men 
now gained their side and pulled up ; and Walter recognised the 
faces he had remarked in the alehouse. 

" Your servant, gentlemen," quoth the uglier of the two ; " you 
ride fast " 

" And ready ; — bother — baugh ! " chimed in the corporal, pluck- 
ing a gigantic pistol from his holster, without any further 
ceremony. 

" Glad to hear it, sir ! " said the hard-featured stranger, nothing 
dashed. " But I can tell you a secret ! " 

"What's that — augh ! " said the corporal, cocking his pistol. 

" Whoever hurts you, friend, cheats the gallows!" replied the 
s tranger, laughing, and spurring on his horse, to be out of reach 
of any practical answer with which the corporal might favour 
Mm. But Bunting was a prudent man, and not apt to be 
choleric. 

" Bother ! " said he, and dropped his pistol, as the other stranger 
fi.lli.wed his ill-favoured comrade. 

" You see we are too strong for them ! " cried Sir Peter, gaily; 
" evidently highwaymen ! How very fortunate that I should have 
fallen in with you ! " 

A shower of rain now began to fall. Sir Peter looked serious — 
he halted abruptly — unbuckled his cloak, which had been strapped 
before his saddle — wrapped himself up in it — buried his face in 
the eoDar— muffled his chin with a red handkerchief, which he 
took out of his pocket, and then turning to Walter, he said to him, 
"What! no cloak, sir? no wrapper even? Upon my soul I am 
very sorry I have not another handkerchief to lend you ! " 

"Man of the world — baugh!" grunted the corporal, and his 
heart quite warmed to the stranger he had at first taken to be a 
robber. 

" And now, sir," said Sir Peter, patting his nag, and pulling up 
his cloak-collar still higher, " let us go gently : there is no occa- 
sion for hurry. Why distress our horses ?" 

"Really, sir," said Walter, smiling, "though I hare a great 



1<X1 EUGENE AilAJI. 

regard for my horse, I have some for myself; and I should rather 
like to be out of this rain as soon as possible." 

"Oh, ah ! you have no cloak. I forgot that : to be sure — to be 
sure, let us trot on, gently — though — gently. Well, sir, as I was 
saying, horses are not so swift as they were. The breed is bought 
up by the French ! I remember once, Johnny Courtland and I, 
after dining at my house till the champagne had played the danc- 
ing-master to our brains, mounted our horses, and rode twenty- 
miles for a cool thousand the winner. I lost it, sir, by a hair s 
breadth; but I lost it on purpose: it would have half ruined 
Johnny Courtland to have paid me, and he had that delicacy, sir. 
— he had that delicacy, that he would not have suffered me to 
refuse taking his money, — so what could I do, but lose on purpose' 
You see I had no alternative ! " 

" Pray, sir," said Walter, charmed and astonished at so rare au 
instance of the generosity of human friendships — " pray, sir, did I 
not hear you called Sir Peter by the landlord of the little inn ? Can 
it be, since you speak so familiarly of Mr. Courtland, that I have 
the honour to address Sir Peter Hales ? " 

" Indeed that is my name," replied the gentleman, with some 
surprise in his voice. " But I have never had the honour of seeing 
you before." 

"Perhaps my name is not unfamiliar to you," said Walter. 
" And among my papers, I have a letter addressed to you from my 
uncle, Kowland Lester." 

" Gk>d bless me ! " cried Sir Peter. " What ! Rowy ? — well, indeed, 
I am overjoyed to hear of him. So you are his nephew ? Pray tell 
me all about him — a wild, gay, rollicking fellow still, eh ? Always 
fencing, sa — sa ! or playing at billiards, or hot in a steeple-chase ; 
there was not a jollier, better-humoured fellow in the world than 
Rowy Lester." 

" You forget, Sir Peter," said Walter, laughing at a description 
so unlike his sober and steady uncle, " that some years have passed 
since the time you speak of." 

" Ah, and so there have," replied Sir Peter. " And what does 
your uncle say of me ?" 

" That when he knew you, you were all generosity, frankness, 
hospitality." 

" Humph, humph ! " said Sir Peter, looking extremely discon- 
certed, a confusion which Walter imputed solely to modesty. " I 
was a hair brained, foolish fellow then — quite a boy, quite a boy : 
but bless me, it rains sharply, and you have no cloak. But we are 
close on the town now. An excellent inn is the ' Duke of Cumber- 
land's Head ; ' you will have charming accommodation there." 

" What, Sir Peter, you know this part of the country well ! " 

" Pretty well, pretty well ; indeed, I live near, that is to say, not 
very far from, the town. This turn, if you please. We separate 
here I have brought you a little out of your way — not above a 
mile or two, for fear the robbers should attack me if I was left 
alone. I had quite forgot you had no cloak. That's your road— 
this mine. Aha ! bo Rowy Lester is still alive and hearty ! — the 



Kl'UJiNE ABAAI. 103 

name excellent, wild fellow, no doubt. Give niy kindest remem- 
brance to him when you write. Adieu, sir." 

This latter speech having been delivered during a halt, the cor- 
poral had heard it : he grinned delightedly as he touched his hat 
to Sir Peter, who now trotted off, and muttered to bis young 
master, — 

" Most sensible man, that, sir ! " 



CHAPTER VI. 

Sin PETER DISPLArED.— ONE MAN OF THE WOBLD SUFFERS FROM 
ANOTHER— THE INCIDENT OF THE BRIDLE BEGETS THE INCIDENT 
OF THE SADDLE;— THE INCIDENT OF THE SADDLE BEGETS THE 
INCIDENT OF THE WHIP;— THE INCIDENT OF THE WHIP BEGETP 
WHAT THE READER MUST BEAD TO SEE. 



Nihil est aliud magnum quam multa minuta.* — Vet. Auct 



" And so," said "Walter, the next morning, to the head waiter, 
who was busied about their preparations for breakfast : " and so 
Sir Peter Hales, you say, lives within a mile of the town ? " 

" Scarcely a mile, sir,— black or green ? — you passed the turn to 
his house last night ; — sir, the eggs are quite fresh this morning. 
This inn belongs to Sir Peter." 

" Oh ! — Does Sir Peter see much company ? " 

The waiter smiled. 

" Sir Peter gives very handsome dinners, sir ; twice a year ! A 
most clever gentleman, Sir Peter! They say he is the best 
manager of property in the whole county. Do you like Yorkshire 
cake : — toast ! yes, sir ! " 

" So, so," said Walter to himself, "a pretty true description my 
uncle gave me of this gentleman. ' Ask me too often to dinner, 
indeed ! ' — ' offer me money if I want it ! ' — ' spend a month at his 
house ! ' — ' most hospitable fellow in the world ! * — My uncle must 
have been dreaming." 

"Walter had yet to learn, that the men most prodigal when they 
have nothing but expectations, are often most thrifty when they 
know the charms of absolute possession. Besides, Sir Peter had 
married a Scotch lady, and was blessed with eleven children ! But 
was Sir Peter Hales much altered i Sir Peter Hales was exactly 
the same man in reality that he always had been. Once he was 
selfish in extravagance ; he was now selfish in thrift. He had 
always pleased himself, and forgot other people ; that was exactly 
what he valued himself on doing now. But the most absurd thing 

» tier is there anything that hath so great a power as the aggregate oi small 
things. 



1Q4 EUGENE ARAM, 

about Sir Peter was, that while he was for ever extracting use 
from every one else, he was mightily afraid of being himself put 
to use. He was in parliament, and noted for never giving a frank 
out of his own family. Yet withal, Sir Peter Hales was still an 
agreeable fellow ; nay, he was more liked and much more esteemed 
than ever. There is something conciliatory in a saving disposition ; 
but people put themselves in a great passion when a man is too 
liberal with his own. It is an insult on their own prudence. 
" What right has he to be so extravagant? What an example to 
our servants ! " But your close neighbour does not humble you. 
You love your close neighbour ; you respect your close neighbour ; 
you have your harmless jest against him— but he is a most respect- 
able man. 

" A letter, sir, and a parcel from Sir Peter Hales," said the 
waiter, entering. 

The parcel was a bulky, angular, awkward packet of brown 
paper, sealed once and tied with the smallest possible quantity of 

string : it was addressed to Mr. James Holwell, Sadler, Street, 

. The letter was to Lester, Esq., and ran thus, written 

in a very neat, stiff, Italian character : — 

" D' S' r 

" I trust you had no difficulty in find* y e 'Duke of Cumberland's 
Head ;' it is an excellent I". 

" I greatly reg' y' you are unavoid 7 oblig'd to go on to Lond" ; for, 
otherwise I sh d have had the sincerest pleas' in seeing you here at 
din', & introducing you to 1/ Hales. Anoth r time I trust we may 
be more fortunate. 

" As you pass thro' y e litt e town of ■ •, exactly 21 miles hence, 

on the road to Lond", will you do me the fav r to allow your serv' to 
put the little parcel I send, into his pock', & drop it as direct 1 *. It 
is a bridle I am forc'd to return. Country work" are such bung". 

" I sh d most certain 5 ' have had y e hon r to wait on you person', 
but the rain has given me a m° sev e cold; — hope you have escap'd, 
fho' by y e by, you had no cloke, nor wrapp' ! 

" My kindest regards to your m° excellent unc e . I am quite sure 
he's the same line merr 5 ' fell" he always was ! — tell him so ! 
" D r S r , Yours faith? 

" Petek Gbindlescrew Hales. 

"P.S. You know pern' y* poor Jn° Court*, your uncle's m* 

Lntim e friend, lives in , the town in which your serv* will drop 

y* brid e . He is much alter'd, poor Jn° ! " 

" Altered ! alteration then seems the fashion with ray uncle's 
friends ! " thought Walter, as he rang for the corporal, and con- 
signed to his charge the unsightly parcel. 

" It is to be carried twenty-one miles at the request of the gen- 
tleman we met last night, — a most sensible man, Bunting ! " 

" Augh — waugh, — your honour ! " gruuted the corporal, thrusting 
the bridle very discontentedly into his pocket, where it ansaoyea 



1TOGENE AKAM. 106 

him the whole journey, by incessantly getting between his seat of 
leather and his seat of nonour. It is a comfort to the inex- 
perienced, when one man of the world smarts from the sagacity of 
another ; we resign ourselves more willingly to our fate. Our 
travellers resumed their journey, and in a few minutes from the 
cause we have before assigned, the corporal became thoroughly out 
of humour. 

" Pray, Bunting," said Walter, calling his attendant to his side, 
do you feel sure that the man we met yesterday at the alehouse, is 
the same you saw at Grassdale some months ago ?" 

" D — n it!" cried the corporal quickly, and clapping his hand 
behind. 

" How, sir!" 

" Beg pardon, your honour — slip tongue, but this confounded 
parcel ! — augh — bother." 

" Why don't you carry it in your hand ? " 

" 'Tis so ungainsome, and be d — d to it ! And how can I hold 
parcel and pull in this beast, which requires two hands : his 
mouth's as hard as a brickbat, — augh !" 

" You have not answered my question yet?" 

" Beg pardon, your honour. Yes, certain sure the man's the 
same ; phiz not to be mistaken." 

" It is strange," said Walter, musing, " that Aram should know 
a man who, if not a highwayman, as we suspected, is at least of 
rugged manner and disreputable appearance ; it is strange, too, 
that Aram always avoided recurring to the acquaintance, though 
he confessed it." With this he broke into a trot, and the corporal 
into an oath. 

They arrived by noon at the little town specified by Sir Peter, 
and in their way to the inn (for Walter resolved to rest there), 
passed by the saddler's house. It so chanced that Master Holwell 
was an adept in his craft, and that a newly-invented hunting- 
saddle at the window caught Walter's notice. The artful saddler 
persuaded the young traveller to dismount and look at " the most 
convenientest and handsomest saddle that ever was seen:" and 
the corporal having lost no time in getting rid of his encumbrance, 
Walter dismissed him to the inn with the horses, and after pur- 
chasing the saddle in exchange for his own, he sauntered into the 
shop to look at a new snaffle. A gentleman's servant was in the 
shop at the time, bargaining for a riding- whip ; and the shopboy, 
among others, showed him a large old-fashioned one, with a 
tarnished silver handle. Grooms have no taste for antiquity, and 
in spite of the silver handle, the servant pushed it aside with some 
contempt. Some jest he uttered at the time chanced to attract 
Walter's notice to the whip ; he took it up carelessly, and per- 
ceived with great surprise, that it bore his own crest, a bittern, on. 
the handle. He examined it now with attention, and underneath 
the crest were the letters G. L., his father's initials. 

" How long have you had this whip r" said he to the saddler, 
concealing the emotion which this token of his lost parent naturallj 
excited. 



liXS EUGENE AKAJtt. 

" Oh, a 'nation long time, sir," replied Mr. Holwell. " It is a 
queer old thing, but really is not amiss, if the silver was scrubbed 
up a bit, and a new lash put on ; you may have it a bargain, sir, 
if so be you have taken a fancy to it." 

" Can you at all recollect how you came by it?" said Walter, 
earnestly. " The fact is, that I see by the crest and initials that 
it belonged to a person whom I have some interest in discovering." 

" Why, let me think," said the saddler, scratching the tip of ids 
right ear ; " 'tis so long ago sin I had it, I quite forget how I 
came by it." 

" Oh, is it that whip, John?" said the wife, who had been 
attracted from the back parlour by the sight of the handsome 
young stranger. " Don't you remember, it's a many year ago, a 
gentleman who passed a day with Squire Courtland, when he first 
came to settle here, called and left the whip to have a new thong 
put to it ? But I fancies he forgot it, sir [turning to Walter], for 
he never called for it again ; and the squire's people said as how 
he was agone into Yorkshire : so there the whip's been ever sin. I 
remembers it, sir, 'cause I kept it in the little parlour nearly a 
year, to be in the way like." 

" Ah ! I thinks I do remember it now," said Master Holwell. 
" I should think it's a matter of twelve yearn ago. I suppose I 
may sell it without fear of the gentleman's claiming it again." 

" Not more than twelve years ! " said Walter, anxiously ; for it 
was some seventeen years since his father had been last heard of by 
his family. 

" Why it may be thirteen, sir, or so, more or less ; I can't say 
exactly." 

" More likely fourteen?" said the dame ; " it can't be much 
more, sir, we have only been married fifteen year come next 
Christmas ! But my old man here is ten years older nor I." 

" And the gentleman, you say, was at Mr. Courtland's ? " 

" Yes, sir, that I'm sure of," replied the intelligent Mrs. Holwell; 
" they said he had come lately from Ingee." 

Walter now despairing of hearing more, purchased the whip ; 
and blessing the worldly wisdom of Sir Peter Hales, that had thus 
thrown him on a clue, which, however slight, he resolved to follow 
up, he inquired the way to Squire Oon-^ind's, and proceeded 
thither at once. 



TBQKXT. A BAM. lQf 



CHAPTER VII. 

"WALTER VISITS ANOTHER OF HIS UNCLE'S FRIENDS.— MB. COTTHT- 
LAND'S STRANGE COMPLAINT.— WALTER YEARNS NEWS OF IlIB 
FATHER, WHICH SURPRISES HIM. — THE CHANGE IN HIS DESTI- 
NATION. 



Gad's my life, did you ever hear the like ? what a strange man is this ' 
What you have possessed me withal, I'll discharge it amply. 

Ben Jonson : " Every Man in hie Humour." 



Ms. Cottrtland's house was surrounded by a high wall, and 
stood at the outskirts of the town. A little wooden door, buried 
deep within the wall, seemed the only entrance. At this Walter 
paused, and after twice applying to the bell, a footman of a 
peculiarly grave and sanctimonious appearance opened the door. 

In reply to Walter's inquiries, he informed him that Mr. Court- 
land was very unwell, and never saw " company." Walter, how- 
ever, producing from his pocket-book the introductory letter given 
him by his uncle, slipped it into the servant's hand, accompanied 
by half a crown, and begged to be announced as a gentleman on 
veryparticular business. 

" Well sir, you can step in," said the servant, giving way ; " but 
my master is very poorly — very poorly indeed." 

" Indeed ; I am sorry to hear it : has he been long so ? " 

" Going on for ten years, sir ! " replied the servant, with 

great gravity ; and opening the door of the house, which stood 
within a few paces of the wall, on a singularly flat and bare grass- 
plot, he showed him into a room, and left him alone. 

The first thing that struck Walter in this apartment was its 
remarkable lightness. Though not large, it had no less than seven 
windows. Two sides of the wall seemed indeed all window ! Nor 
were these admittants of the celestial beam shaded by any blind or 
curtain ; — 

•* The gaudy, babbling, and remorseless day,'" " 

made itself thoroughly at home in this airy chamber. Never- 
theless, though so light, it seemed to Walter anything but cheerful 
The sun had blistered and discoloured the painting oi the wainscot, 
originally of a pale sea-green; there was little furniture in the 
apartment : one table in the centre, some half a dozen chairs, and 
a very small Turkey carpet, which did not cover one-tenth part of 
the clean, cold, smooth oak-boards, constituted all the goods and 
chattels visible in the room. But what particularly added effect 
to the bareness of all within, was the singular and laborious bare- 
ness of all without. From each of these seven windows, nothing 



109 EUGENE AEAM. 

but a forlorn green flat of some extent was to be seen ; there was 
neither tree, nor shrub, nor flower, in the whole expanse, although 
by several stumps of trees near the house, Walter perceived that 
the place had not always been so destitute of vegetable life. 

While he was yet looking upon this singular baldness of scene, 
the servant re-entered with his master's compliments, and a mes- 
sage that he should be happy to see any relation of Mr. Lester. 

Walter accordingly followed the footman into an apartment 
possessing exactly the same peculiarities as the former one ; viz. a 
most disproportionate plurality of windows, a commodious scanti- 
ness bf furniture, and a prospect without, that seemed as if the 
house had been built in the middle of Salisbury Plain. 

Mr. Courtland himself, a stout man, still preserving the rosy 
hues and comely features, though certainly not the hilarious 
expression, which Lester had attributed to him, sat in a large chair, 
close by the centre window, which was open. He rose and shook 
Walter by the hand with great cordiality. 

" Sir, I am delighted to see you ! How is your worthy uncle ? 
I only wish he were with you — you dine with me of course. 
Thomas, tell the cook to add a tongue and chicken to the roast 
beef — no, young gentleman, I will have no excuse : sit down, sit 
down ; pray come near the window ; do you not find it dreadfully 
close ? not a breath of air ? This house is so choked up ; don't you 
find it so, eh ? Ah, I see, you can scarcely gasp." 

" My dear sir, you are mistaken : I am rather cold, on the con- 
trary : nor did I ever in my life see a more airy house than yours." 

"I try to make it so, sir, but I can't succeed; if you had 
seen what it was when I first bought it ! A garden here, sir; a 
copse there ; a wilderness, God wot ! at the back ; and a row of 
chestnut-trees in the front ! You may conceive the consequence, 
sir ; I had not been long here, not two years, before my health was gone, 
sir, gone — the d — d vegetable life sucked it out of me. The trees kept 
away all the air ; I was nearly suffocated without, at first, guessing 
the cause. But at length, though not till I had been withering 
away for five years, I discovered the origin of my malady. I went 
to work, sir; I plucked up the cursed garden, I cut down the 
infernal chesnuts, I made a bowling-green of the diabolical wilder- 
ness, but I fear it is too late. I am dying by inches, — have been 
dying ever since. The malaria has effectually tainted my consti- 
tution." 

Here Mr. Courtland heaved a deep sigh, and shook his head with 
a most gloomy expression of countenance. 

"Indeed, sir," said Walter, "I should not, to look at you, 
imagine that you suffered under any complaint. You seem still 
the same picture of health that my uncle describes you to have 
been when you knew him so many years ago." 

"Yes, sir, yes; the confounded malaria fixed the colour to my 
cheeks : the blood is stagnant, sir. __ Would to Heaven I could see 
myself a shade paler ! — the blood does not now ; I am like a pool 
in a citizen's garden, with a willow at each corner ; — but a truce to 
my complaints. You see, sir, I am no hypochondriac, as mv fool 



EUGENE AltAM. 109 

if a doctor wants to persuade me : a hypochondriac shudders at 
5very breath of air, trembles when a door is open, and looks upon 
i window as the entrance of death. But I, sir, never can have 
snough air; thorough draught or east wind, it is all the same to 
me, so that I do but breathe. Is that like hypochondria? — pshaw ! 
But tell me, young gentleman, about your uncle : is he quite well, 
— stout — hearty, — does he breathe easily, — no oppression? " 

" Sir, he enjoys exceedingly good health ; he did please himself 
with the hope that I should give him good tidings of yourself, and 
another of his old friends, whom I accidently saw yesterday, — Sir 
Peter Hales." 

"Hales! Peter Hales ! — ah ! a clever little fellow that. How 
delighted Lester's good heart will be to hear that litle Peter is so 
improved; — no longer a dissolute harum-scarum fellow, throwing 
away his money, and always in debt. No, no; a respectable, 
steady character, an excellent manager, an active member of parlia- 
ment, domestic in private life, — oh ! a very worthy man, sir ; a 
very worthy man ! " 

" He seems altered, indeed, sir," said "Walter; who was young 
enough in the world to be surprised at this eulogy; "but is still 
agreeable and fond of anecdote. He told me of his race with you 
for a thousand guineas." 

" Ah, don't talk of those days," said Mr. Courtland, shaking his 
bead pensively : "it makes me melancholy. Yes, Peter ought to 
recollect that, for he has never paid me to this day ; affected to 
treat it as a jest, and swore he could have beat me if he would. 
But indeed it was my fault, sir ; Peter had not then a thousand 
farthings in the world ; and when he grew rich, he became a steady 
character, and I did not like to remind him of our former follies. 
Aha ! can I offer you a pinch of snuff ? — You look feverish, sir ; 
surely this room must affect you, though you are too polite to say 
30. Pray open that door, and then this window, and put your 
chair right between the two. You have no notion how refreshing 
the draught is." 

Walter politely declined the proffered ague ; and, thinking he 
bad now made sufficient progress in the acquaintance of this sin- 
srular non-hypochondriac to introduce the subject he had most at 
beart, hastened to speak of his father. 

"I have chanced, sir," said he, "very unexpectedly upon some- 
thing that once belonged to my poor father ; " here he showed the 
whip. " I find from the saddler of whom I bought it, that the 
owner was at your house some twelve or fourteen years ago. I do 
not know whether you are aware that our family have heard no- 
thing respecting my father's fate for a considerably longer time 
than that which has elapsed since you appear to have seen him, if 
it least I may hope that he was your guest, and the owner of this 
whip ; and any news you can give me of him, any clue by which 
ae can possibly be traced, would be to us all — to me in particular — 
an inestimable obligation." 

" Your father ! " said Mr. Courtland. " Oh, — ay, your uncle's 
iwother. What was his Christian name ? — Henry ? " 



li<> ku(;kn'j; akam. 

*' Geoffrey . 

" Ay, exactly ; Geoffrey ! What ! not been heard of ? — his 
family not know where he is ? A sad thing, sir ; but he was always 
a wild fellow ; now here, now there, like a flash of lightning. But 
it is true, it is true, he did stay a day here, several years ago, when 
I first bought the place. I can tell you all about it ; but you seem 

fitated, — do come nearer the window : — there, that 's right, 
ell, sir, it is, as I said, a great many years ago, — perhaps four- 
teen, — and I was speaking to the landlord of the " Greyhound " 
about some hay he wished to sell, when a gentleman rode into the 
yard full tear, as your father always did ride, and in getting out of 
his way I recognised Geoffrey Lester. I did not know him well — 
far from it ; but I had seen him once or twice with your uncle, and 
though he was a strange pickle, he sang a good song, and was 
deuced amusing. "Well, sir, I accosted him ; and, for the sake of 
your uncle, I asked him to dine with me, and take a bed at my new 
house. Ah ! I little thought what a dear bargain it was to be ! 
He accepted my invitation; for I fancy — no offence, sir, — there 
were few invitations that Mr. Geoffrey Lester ever refused to accept. 
We dined tete-d-tete, — I am an old bachelor, sir, — and very enter- 
taining he was, though his sentiments seemed to me broader than 
ever. He was capital, however, about the tricks he had played 
his creditors, — such manoeuvres — such escapes ! After dinner he 
asked me if I ever corresponded with his brother. I told him no ; 
that we were very good friends, but never heard from each other ; 
and he then said ' Well, I shall surprise him with a visit shortly : 
but in case you should unexpectedly have any communication with 
him, don't mention having seen me ; for, to tell you the truth, I 
am just returned from India, where I should have scraped up a 
little money, but that I spent it as fast as I got it. However, you 
know that I was always proverbially the luckiest fellow in the 
world [and so, sir, your father was !], and while I was in India, I 
saved an old colonel's life at a tiger-hunt : he went home shortly 
afterwards, and settled in Yorkshire ; and the other day, on my 
return to England, to which my ill-health drove me, I learned that 
my old colonel had died recently, and left me a handsome legacy, 
with his house in Yorkshire. I am now going down to Yorkshire 
to convert the chattels into gold — to receive my money ; and I 
shall then seek out my good brother, my household gods, and, per- 
haps, though it's not likely, settle into a sober fellow for the rest 
of my life.' I don't tell you, young gentleman, that those were 
your father's exact words, — one can't remember verbatim so many 
years ago ; but it was to that effect. He left me the next day, and 
I never heard anything more of him : to say the truth, he was 
looking wonderfully yellow, and fearfully reduced. And I fancied 
at the time he could not live long : he was prematurely old, and 
decrepit in body, though gay in spirit ; so that I had tacitly ima- 
gined, in never hearing of him more, that he had departed life. 
But, good Heavens ! did you never hear of this legacy ? " 

" > T ever : not a word ! " said Walter, who had listened to thesi 



T'.CGIINK AIUM. Ill 

particulars in great surprise. " And to what part of Yorkshire did 
ae say he was going f " 

"That he did not mention." 

" Nor the colonel's name ? " 

" Xot as I remember ; he might, but I think not. But I am cer- 
tain that the county was Yorkshire ; and the gentleman, whatever 
bisname, was a colonel. Stay: I recollect one more particular, 
which it is lucky I do remember. Your father, in giving me, as I 
said before, in his own humorous strain, the history of Ms adven- 
tures, his hair-breadth escapes from his duns, the various disguises 
and the numerous aliases ho had asssumed, mentioned that the 
name he had borne in India — and by which, he assured me, ho 
had made quite a. good character — was Clarke : he also said, by the 
way, that he still _ kept to that name, and was very merry on the 
advantages of having so common a one, — ' By which,' he observed, 
wittily, ' he could father all his own sins on some other Mr. Clarke, 
at the same time that he could seize and appropriate all the merits of 
all his other namesakes.' Ah, no offence, but he was a sad dog, 
that father of yours ! So you see that, in all probability, if lie ever 
reached Yorkshire, it was under the name of Clarke that he claimed 
and received his legacy." 

" You have told me more," said "Walter, joyfully, " than we have 
heard since his disappearance ; and I shall turn my horses' heads 
northward to-morrow, by break of day. But you say, 'If he ever 
reached Yorkshire.' What should prevent him ? " 

" His health ! " said the non- hypochondriac. "I should not be 
greatly surprised if — if; — in short, you had better look at the grave- 
stones by the way, for the name of Clarke." 

" Perhaps you can give me the dates, sir," said "Walter, some- 
what cast down by that melancholy admonition. 

" Ay ! I'll see — I'll see after dinner ; the commonness of the 
name has its disadvantages now. Poor Geoffrey ! I dare say there 
are hfty tombs to the memory of fifty Clarkes between this and 
Y'ork. But come, sir, there's the dinner-bell." 

"Whatever might have been the maladies entailed upon the 
portly frame of Mr. Courtland by the vegetable life of the departed 
trees, a want of appetite was not among the number. Whenever 
a man is not abstinent from rule, or from early hab't, solitude 
makes its votaries particularly fond of their dinner. They have 
no other event wherewith to mark their day ; they think over it, 
thc-v anticipate it, they nourish its soft idea in their imagination : 
if they do look forward to anything else more than dinner, it is 
— supper. 

Mr. Courtland deliberately pinned the napkin to his waistcoat, 
ordered all the windows to be thrown open, and set to work like 
the good canon in " Gil Bias." He still retained enough of his 
former self to preserve an excellent cook ; and though most of his 
viands were of the plainest, who does not know what skill it 
requires to produce an unexceptionable roast, or a blameless boil ? 

Half a tureen of strong soup, — three pounds, at least, of stewed 



I!2 EtJGENJK AEAM. 

carp, — all the under part of a sirloin of beef, — three quarters of & 
tongue, — the moiety of a chicken, — six pancakes, and a tartlet, 
having severally disappeared down the jaws of the invalid, 

" Et cuncta terrarum subacta 
Praiter atrocera animum Catonis,"* 

he still called for two devilled biscuits and an anchovy ! 

When these were gone, he had the wine set on a little table by 
the window, and declared that the air seemed closer than ever. 
Walter was no longer surprised at the singular nature of the non- 
hypochondriac's complaint. 

Walter declined the bed that Mr. Courtland offered him — 
though his host kindly assured him that it had no curtains, and 
that there was not a shutter to the house, — upon the plea of start- 
ing the next morning at daybreak, and his consequent unwilling- 
ness to disturb the regular establishment of the invalid ; and 
Courtland, who was still an excellent, hospitable, friendly man, suf- 
fered his friend's nephew to depart with regret. He supplied him, 
however, by a reference to an old note-book, with the date of the 
year, and even month, in which he had been favoured by a visit 
from Mr. Clarke, who, it seemed, had also changed his Christian 
name from Geoffrey to one beginning with D — ; but whether it 
was David or Daniel, the host remembered not. In parting with 
Walter, Courtland shook his head, and observed — 

" Entre nous, sir, I fear this may be a wild-goose chase. Your 
father was too facetious to confine himself to fact — excuse me, sir , 
and, perhaps, the colonel and the legacy were merely inventions- 
pour passer le temps ; there was only one reason, indeed, that 
made me fully believe the story." 

" What was that, sir ? " asked Walter, blushing deeply at the 
.universality of that estimation his father had obtained. 

" Excuse me, my young friend." 

" Nay, sir, let me press you." 

" Why, then, Mr. Geoffrey Lester did not ask me to lend him 
any money ! " 

The next morning, instead of repairing to the gaieties of the 
metropolis, Walter had, upon this dubious clue, altered his journey 
northward ; and with an unquiet yet sanguine spirit, the adven- 
turous son commenced his search after the fate of a father evidently 
so unworthy of the anxiety he had excited. 

* And everv thing of earth subdued, except the resolute mind of Quo. 



EDGENE ARAtt. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Salter's meditations.— the corporal's grief and anger. — 
the corporal personally described.— an explanation with 
his master.— the corporal opens himself to the young 
traveller— his opinions on love ;— on the world ;— on the 
pleasure and respectability of cheating ;— on ladies— and 
a particular class of ladies ; — on authors :— on the value 
of words; — on fighting; — with sundry other matters of 
equal delectation and improvement. — an unexpected 

EVENT. 



Quale per incertam Lunam sub luce maligna 
Est iter.* — Virgil. 



The road prescribed to our travellers by the change in their 
destination led them back over a considerable portion of the 
ground they had already traversed ; and since the corporal took 
care that they should remain some hours in the place where they 
dined, night fell upon them as they found themselves in the midst 
of the same long and dreary stage in which they had encountered 
Sir Peter Hales and the two suspected highwaymen. 

Walter's mind was full of the project on which he was bent. The 
reader can fully comprehend how vivid were the emotions called 
up by the hope of a solution to the enigma of his father's fate ; 
and sanguinely did he now indulge those intense meditations 
with which the imaginative minds of the young always brood over 
every more favourite idea, until they exalt the hope into a passion. 
Everything connected with this strange and roving parent had 
possessed for the breast of his son not only an anxious, but indulgent 
interest. _ The judgment of a young man is always inclined to sym- 
pathise with the wilder and more enterprising order of spirits ; and 
Walter had been at no loss for secret excuses wherewith to defend 
the irregular life and reckless habits of his parent. Amidst all his 
father's evident and utter want of principle, Walter clung with a 
natural and self-deceptive patriality to the few traits of courage or 
generosity which relieved, if they did not redeem, his character : 
traits which, with a character of that stamp, are so often, though 
always so unprofitably blended, and which generally cease with 
the commencement of age. He now felt elated by the conviction, 
as he had always been inspired by the hope, that it was to be his 
lot to discover one whom he still believed living, and whom he 
trusted to find amended. The same intimate persuasion of the " good 
luck" of Geoffrey Lester, which all who had known him appeared 

* Even as a journey by the unpropitious light of the uncertain moon. 

I 



114 EUGENE AEAM. 

to entertain, •was felt even in a more credulous and earnest degree 
by bis son. Walter gave way now, indeed, to a variety of con- 
jectiires as to the motives which could have induced his father to 
persist in the concealment of his fate after his return to England- but 
such of those conjectures as, if the more rational, were also the more 
despondent, he speedily and resolutely dismissed. Sometimes he 
thought that his father, on learning the death of the wife he had 
abandoned, might have been possessed with a remorse which ren- 
dered him unwilling to disclose himself to the rest of his family, 
and a feeling that the main tie of home was broken ; sometimes he 
thought that the wanderer had been disappointed in his expected 
legacy, and, dreading the attacks of his creditors, or unwilling to 
throw himself once more on the generosity of his brother, had 
again suddenly quitted England, and entered on some enterprise or 
occupation abroad. It was also possible, to one so reckless and 
changeful, that even, after receiving the legacy, a proposition from 
some wild comrade might have hurried him away on any con- 
tinental project at the mere impulse of the moment, for the impulse 
of the moment had always been the guide of his life ; and once 
abroad, he might have returned to India, and in new connections 
Orgotten the old ties at home. Letters from abroad, too miscarry ; 
and it was not improbable that the wanderer might have written 
repeatedly, and receiving no answer to his communications, 
imagined that the dissoluteness of his life had deprived him of 
the affections of his family ; and deserving so well to have the 
proffer of renewed intercourse rejected, believed that it actually 
was so. These, and a hundred similar conjectures, found favour 
in the eyes of the young traveller; but the chances of a fatal 
accident, or sudden death, he pertinaciously refused at present to 
include in the number of probabilities. Had his father been seized 
with a mortal illness on the road, was it not likely that, in the 
remorse occasioned in the hardiest by approaching death, he would 
have written to his brother, and, recommending his child to his 
care, have apprised him of the addition to his fortune ? Walter, 
then, did not meditate embarrassing his present journey by those 
researches among the dead which the worthy Courtland had so 
considerately recommended to his prudence: should his expedition, 
contrary to bis hopes, prove wholly unsuccessful, it might then be 
well to retrace his steps and adopt the suggestion. But what man, 
at the age of twenty-one, ever took much precaution on the darker 
side of a question in which his heart was interested ? 

With what pleasure, escaping from conjecture to a more ultimate 
conclusion, did he, in recalling those words, in which his father 
had more tha,n hinted to Courtland of his future amendment, con- 
template recovering a parent made wise by years and sober by 
misfortunes, and restoring him to a hearth of tranquil virtues ana 
peaceful enjoyments ! He imaged to himself a scene of that 
domestic happiness which is so perfect in our dreams, because in 
our dreams monotony is always excluded from the picture. And, 
in this creation of r'ancy, the form of Ellinor — his bright-eyed and 
gentle cousin, was not the least conspicuous. Sintxi his alter- 



KUiiKKi: AitAsi. 



cation with Madeline, the love ho had once thought bo ineffaceable 
had faded into a dim and sullen hue ; and, in proportion as the 
image of Madeline grew indistinct, that of her sister became more 
brilliant. Often, now, as he rode slowly onward, in the quiet of 
the deepening night, and the mellow stars, softening all on which 
they shone, he pressed the little token of Ellinor's affection to his 
heart, and wondered that it was only within the last few days he 
had discovered that her eyes were more beautiful than Madeline's, 
and her smile more touching. Meanwhile the redoubted corporal, 
who was by no means pleased with the change in his master's plans, 
lingered behind, whistling the most melancholy tune in his col- 
lection. iS'o young lady, anticipative of balls or coronets, had ever 
felt more complacent satisfaction in a journey to London than that 
which had cheered the athletic breast of the veteran on finding 
himself, at last, within one day's gentle march of the metropolis. 
And no young lady, suddenly summoned back in the first flush of 
her debut by an unseasonable fit of gout or economy in papa, ever 
felt more irreparably aggrieved than now did the dejected corporal. 
His master had not yet even acquainted him with the cause of the 
counter-march ; and, in his own heart, he believed it nothing but 
the wanton levity and unpardonable fickleness "common to all 
them ere boys afore they have seen the world." He certainly con- 
sidered himself a singularly ill-used and injured man, and drawing 
himself up to his full height, as if it were a matter with which 
heaven should be acquainted at the earliest possible opportunity, 
he indulged, as we before said, in the melancholy consolation of a 
whistled death-dirge, occasionally interrupted by a long-drawn 
interlude, half-sigh, half-snuffle, of his favourite angh — baugh. 

And here, we remember, that we have not as yet given to our 
reader a fitting portrait of the corporal on horseback. Perhaps no 
better opportunity than the present may occur ; and perhaps, also, 
Corporal Bunting, as well as Melrose Abbey, may seem a yet more 
interesting picture when viewed by the pale moonlight. 

The corporal, then, wore on his head a small cocked hat, which 
had formerly belonged to the colonel of the forty-second — the 
prints of my uncle Toby may serve to suggest its shape ; it had 
once boasted a feather — that was gone : but the gold lace, though 
twnished, and the cockade, though battered, still remained. From 
under this shade the profile of the corporal assumed a particular 
aspect of heroism : though a good-looking man in the main, it was 
his air, height, and complexion, which made him so ; and, unlike 
Lucian's one-eyed prince, a side view was not the most favourable 
point in wliich his features could be regarded. His eyes, which 
were small and shrewd, were half hid by a pair of thick, shaggy 
brows, which, while he whistled, he moved to and fro, as a horse 
moves his ears when he gives warning that he intends to shy ; his 
nose was straight — so far so good — but then it did not go far enough; 
for though it seemed no despicable proboscis in front, somehow or 
another it appeared exceedingly short in profile : to make up for 
this, the upper lip was of a length the more striking from being 
exceedingly straight — it had learned to hold itself upright, and 

J 2 



116 F,TJGE>E AEAM. 

make the most of its length as well as its master ! his under lip, 
alone protruded in the act of whistling, served yet more markedly 
to throw the nose into the back-ground ; and as for the chin- 
talk of the upper lip being long indeed ! — the chin would have 
made two of it ; such a chin '. so long, so broad, so massive, had it 
been put on a dish it might have passed, without discredit, for a 
round of beef! and it looked yet larger than it was from the 
exceeding tightness of the stiff black-leather stock below, which 
farced forth all the flesh it encountered, into another chin— a remove 
to the round ! The hat, being somewhat too small for the corporal, 
and being cocked knowingly in front, left the hinder half of the 
head exposed. And the hair, carried into a club, according to the 
fashion, lay thick, and of a grizzled black, on the brawny shoulders 
below. The veteran was dressed in a blue coat, originally a frock ; 
but the skirts having once, to the imminent peril of the place they 
guarded, caught fire, as the corporal stood basking himself at Peter 
Dealtry's, had been so far amputated as to leave only the stump 
of a tail, which just covered, and no more, that part which neither 
Art in bipeds nor Nature in quadrupeds loves to leave wholly 
exposed. And that part, ah, how ample ! Had Liston seen it, he 
would have hid for ever his diminished — opposite to head ! No 
wonder the corporal had been so annoyed by the parcel of the pre- 
vious day, a coat so short, and a ; but no matter, pass we to 

the rest ! It was not only in its skirts that this wicked coat was 
deficient ; the corporal, who had within the last few years thriven 
lustily in the inactive serenity of Grassdale, had outgrown it pro- 
digiously across the chest and girth ; nevertheless he managed to 
button it up. And thus the muscular proportions of the wearer 
bursting forth in all quarters, gave him the ludicrous appearance 
of a gigantic schoolboy. His wrists, and large sinewy hands, both 
employed at the bridle of his hard-mouthed charger, were markedly 
visible ; for it was the corporal's custom, whenever he came to an 
obscure part of the road, carefully to take off, and prudently to 
pocket, a pair of scrupulously clean white leather gloves, which 
smartened up his appearance prodigiously in passing through the 
towns in their route. His breeches were of yellow buckskin, and 
ineffably tight; his stockings were of grey worsted; and a pair of 
laced boots, that reached the ascent of a very mountainous calf, 
but declined any further progress, completed his attire. 

Fancy then this figure, seated with laborious and unswerving 
perpendicularity on a demi-pique saddle, ornamented with a huge 
pair of well-stuffed saddle-bags, and holsters revealing the stocks 
of a brace of immense pistols, the horse with its obstinate mouth 
thrust out, and the bridle drawn as tight as a bowstring ! its ears 
laid sullenly down, as if, like the corporal, it complained of going 
to Yorkshire : and its long thick tail, not set up in a comely 
and well-educated arch, but hanging sheepishly down, as u 
resolved that its buttocks should at least be better covered than its 
master's ! 

And now. reader, it is not our fault if you cannot form some 
conception of the physical perfections of the corporal and his steed 



£■ CE.VK AUAJI. 117 

The reverie of the contemplative Bunting was interrupted by the 
voice :>f his master calling upon him to approach. 

" Well, well," muttered he, " the yoiinkcr can't expect one as 
close at his heels as it' we were trotting 1 into Lunnun, which we 
might be at this time, sure enough, if he had not been so d — — d 
tlighty — augh ! " 

"' Bunting, I say, do you hear ? " 

" "i -.'3, your honour, yes ; this ere horse is so 'nation sluggish." 

" Sluggish ! why I thought he was too much the reverse, 
Bunting. I thought he was one rather requiring the bridle than 
the spur." 

" Augh ! your honour, he's slow whjn he should not, and fast 
when he should not : change his mind from pure whim, or pure 
spite ; new to the world, your honour, that's all ; a different thing 
it properly broke. There be a many like him ! " 

" You mean to be personal, Mr. Bunting," said Walter, laughing 
at the evident ill-humour of his attendant. 

"Aucru! indeed and no! — I daren't — a poor man like me — go 
for to presume to be parsonal, — unless I get hold of a poorer ! " 

' ' Why, Bunting, you do not mean to say that you would be so 
ungenerous as to affront a man because he was poorer than you ? — 
tie!" 

" Whaugh, your honour ! and is not that the very reason why 
I'd affront him ? Surely, it is not my betters I should affront : 
that would be ill-bred, your honour, — quite want of discipline." 

" But we owe it to our great commander," said Walter, " to love 
all men." 

" Augh ! sir, that's very good maxim — none better — but shows 
ignorance of the world, sir — great ! " 

" Bunting, your way of thinking is quite disgraceful. Do you 
know, sir, that it is the Bible you were speaking of r " 

" Augh, sir ! but the Bible was addressed to them Jew creturs ! 
Howsomever, it's an excellent book for the poor; keeps 'em in 
order, favours discipline, — none more so." 

" Hold your tongue. I called you, Bunting, because I think I 
heard you say you had once been at York. Do you know what 
towns we shall pass on our road thither? " 

" Xot I, your honour ; it's a mighty long way. What would the 
squire think?— just at Lunnun, too! Could, have learned the 
whole road, sir, inns and all, if you had but gone on to Lunnun 
tirst. Howsomever, young gentlemen will be hasty, — no confi- 
dence in those older and who are experienced in the world. I 
knows what I knows," and the corporal recommenced his whistle. 

" Why, Bunting, you seem quite discontented at my change 
of journey. Are you tired of liding, or were you very eager to 
get to town ? " 

" Auuh ! sir ! I was only thinking of what's best for your honour, 
— I ! "lis not for me to like or dislike. Howsomever, the horses, 
poor creturs, must want rest for some days, Them dumb animals 
can't go on for ever, bumpety, bumpety, as your honour and I do. 
Whaugh ! " 



IIS KfGENE ARAM. 

" It is very true, Bunting ; and I have had seme thoughts of 
sending you home again with the horses, and travelling post." 

" Eh ! " grunted the corporal, opening his eyes, " hopes your 
honour hen t serious." 

" "Why, if you continue to look so serious, I must be serious too. 
You understand, Bunting ? " 

" Augh ! and that's all, your honour," cried the corporal, bright- 
ening up ; " shall look merry enough to-morrow, when one's in, as 
it were, like, to the change of the road. But you see, sir, it took 
me by surprise. _ Said I to myself, says I, it is an odd thing for 
you, Jacob Bunting, on the faith of a man, it is ! to go tramp here, 
tramp there, without knowing why or wherefore, as if you were still 
a private in the forty-second, 'stead of a retired corporal. You see, 
your honour, my pride was a-hurt ; but it's all over now : only 
spites those beneath me, — I knows the world at my time o' life." 

" Well, Bunting, when you learn the reason of my change of 
plan, you'll be perfectly satisfied that I do quite right. In a word, 
you know that my father has been long missing ; I have found a 
clue by which I yet hope to trace him. This is the reason of my 
journey to Yorkshire." 

" Augh ! " said the corporal, " and a very good reason : you're a 
most excellent son, sir ; — and Lunnun so nigh J " 

" The thought of London seems to have bewitched you. Did you 
expect to find the streets of gold since you were there last ? " 

" A — well, sir ; I hears they be greatly improved." 

" Pshaw ! you talk of knowing the world, Bunting, and yet you 
pant to enter it with all the inexperience of a boy. "Why even I 
could set you an example." 

" 'Tis 'cause I knows the world," said the corporal, exceedingly 
nettled, " that I wants to get back to it. I have heard of some 
spoonies as never kissed a girl, but never heard of any one who had 
kissed a girl once that did not long to be at it again. ' 

" And I suppose, Mr. Profligate, it is that longing which makes 
you so hot for London ? " 

" There have been worse longings nor that," quoth the corporal, 
gravely. 

" Perhaps you meditate marrying one of the London belles ; an 
heiress, — eh ? " 

"Can't but say," said the corporal very solemnly, "but that 
might be 'ticed to marry a fortin, if so be she was young, pretty, 
good-tempered, and fell desperately in love with me, — best quality 
of all." 

" You're a modest fellow." 

" "Why, the longer a man lives, the more knows his value ; would 
not sell myself a bargain now, whatever might at twenty-one." _ 

" At that rate you would be beyond all price at seventy," said 
"Walter. " But now tell me, Bunting, were you ever in love, — 
really and honestly in love ? " 

" Indeed, your honour," said the corporal, " I have been over 
head and ears ; but that wss afore I learnt to swim. Love'a very 
like bathing. At first wr- ftocouse to the bottom, but if we're not 



EUGENJS AHAM. 119 

drowned then, we gather pluck, grow calm, strike out gently, and 
make a deal pleasanter thing of it afore wo've done. Ill tell you, 
sir, what I thinks of love : 'twist you and me, sir, tis not that 
great thing in life boys and girls want to make it out to be : if 'twere 
one's dinner, that would be summut, for one can't do without that ; 
but lauk, sir, love J s all in the fancy. One does not eat it, nor drink 
it : and as for the rest, — why it's bother ! " 

" Bunting, you're a beast,'' said Walter, in a rage ; for though 
the corporal had come off with a slight rebuke for his sneer at 
religion, we grieve to say that an attack on the sacredness of love 
seemed a crime beyond all toleration to the theologian of twenty- 
one. 

The corporal bowed, and thrust his tongue in his cheek. 

There was a pause of some moments. 

" And what," said Walter, Tor his spirits were raised, and he 
liked recurring to the quaint shrewdness of the corporal, "and 
what, after all, is the great charm of the world, that you so much, 
wished to return to it ? " 

''Augh!" replied the corporal, "'tis a pleasant thing to look 
about un with all one's eyes open ; rogue here, rogue there, — keeps 
one alive : — life in Lunnun, life in a village — all the difference 
'twixt healthy walk and a dose in arm-chair : by the faith of a man, 
'tis!" 

" What ! it is pleasant to have rascals about one ?" 

" Sure/y, yes," returned the corporal, drily : " what so delightful 
like as to feel one's cliverness and 'bility all set an end — bristling 
up like a porkypine ? Nothing makes a man tread so light, feel so 
proud, breathe so briskly, as the knowledge that he has all his wits 
about him, that he's a match for any one, that the divil himself 
could not take him in ! " 

W alter laughed. 

" And to feel one is likely to be cheated is the pleasantest way of 
passing one's time in town, Bunting, eh ? " 

" Augh ! and in cheating, too," answered the corporal ; " 'cause 
you sees, sir, there be two ways o' living ; one to cheat, — one to be 
cheated. 'Tis pleasant enough to be cheated for a little while, as 
the younkers are, and as you'll be, your honour: but that's a 

Eleasure don't last long — t'other lasts all your life ; dare say your 
onour *s often heard rich gentlemen say to their sons, ' You ought, 
for your own happiness' sake, like, my lad, to have summut to do ; 
ought to have some profession, be you niver so rich : ' very true, 
yur honour, and what does that mean? — why it means that, 'stead 
of being idle and cheated, the boy ought to be busy, and cheat— 
— augh ! " 

" Must a man who follows a profession necessarily cheat, then?" 

" Baugh ! can your honour ask that ? Does not the lawyer cheat ) 

and the doctor cheat, and the parson cheat, more than any ? And 

^hnt's the reason they all takes so much int'rest in their profession 

—bother!" 

" But the soldier ? you say nothing of him." 

"Why.the soldier," said the corporal, with dignity, — "thepr»«w*» 



120 EUGENE ARAM. 

soldier, poor fellow ! is only cheated ; but when he comes for to get 
for to be as high as a corp'ral, or a sargent, he comes for to get to 
bully others, and to cheat. Augh ! then, 'tis not for the privates 
to cheat ; that would be 'sumption indeed, — save us ! " 

" The general, then, cheats more than any, I suppose?" 

" 'Course, your honour ; he talks to the world 'bout honour an' 
glory, and love of his country, and suchlike ! Augh ! that's proper 
cheating ! " 

" You're a bitter fellow, Mr. Bunting. And pray what do you 
tiiink of the ladies ; are they as bad as the men ? " 

"Ladies — augh! when they're married — yes! but of all them 
ere creturs, I respects the kept ladies the most ; on the faith of a 
man, I do ! Gad ! how well they knows the world — one quite 
envies the she-rogues : they beats the wives hollow ! Augh ! and 
your honour should see how they fawns, and flatters, and butters 
up a man, and makes him think they loves him like winkey, all the 
time_ they ruins him ! They kisses money out of the miser, and 
sits in their satins, while the wife — 'drot her ! — sulks in a gingham. 
Oh, they be clivir creturs, and they'll do what they likes with Old 
Nick, when they gets there, for 'tis the old gentlemen they cozens 
the best; and then," continued the corporal, waxing more and 
more loquacious — for his appetite in talking grew with that it fed 
on, — " then there be another set o' queer folks you'll see in Lunnun, 
sir, that is, if you falls in with 'em, — hang all together, quite in a 
clink. I seed lots on 'em when lived with the colonel — Colonel 
Dysart, you knows — augh ! " 

" And what are they ?" 

" Bum ones, your honour ; what they calls authors. 

"Authors ! what the deuce had you or the colonel to do with 
authors?" 

" Augh ! then the colonel was a very fine gentleman, what the 
larned calls a my-seen-ass ; wrote little songs himself — 'crossticks, 
you knows, your honour : once he made a play — 'cause why ? — he 
lived with an actress ! " 

" A very good reason, indeed, for emulating Shakspeare : and 
did the play succeed ? " 

" Fancy it did, your honour ; for the colonel was a dab with the 
scissors." 

" Scissors ! the pen, you mean?" 

" No ! that's what the dirty authors make plays with ; a lord ani 
a colonel, my-seen-asses, always takes the scissors." 

"How?" 

"Why, the colonel's lady had lots of plays, and she marked a 
scene here, a jest there, a line in one place, a bit of blarney in 
t'other ; and the colonel sat by with a great paper book, cut 'em 
out, pasted them in book. Augh! but the colonel pleased the 
town mightily." 

" Well, so he saw a great many authors : and did not they please 
you?" 

"Why, they be so d d quarrelsome," said the corporal; 

" wringle, wrangle, wrongle, snap. «rowl, scratch ; that s not what 



ECTGENE AKA1I, 121 

a man of the world does ; man of the world niver quarrels : then, 
too, these creturs always fancy you forgets that their father was a 
clargyman ; they always thinks more of their family, like, than 
their writings ; and if they does not get money when they wants 
it, they bristles up and cries, ' Not treated like a gentleman, by 
G — !' Yet, after all, they've a deal of kindness in 'em, if you 
knows how to manage 'em— augh ! but, cat-kindness, — paw to-day, 
claw to-morrow. And, then, they always marries young — the poor 
things ! — and have a power of children, and live on the fame and 
fortin they are to get one of these days ; for, my eye ! they be the 
most sanguinest folks alive ! " 

" Why, Bunting, what an observer you have been ! Who could 
ever have imagined that you had made yourself master of so many 
varieties in men ! " 

" Augh, your honour, I . had nothing to do when I was the 
colonel's valley but to take notes to ladies and make use of my 
eyes. Always a 'flective man." 

" It is odd that, with all your abilities, you did not provide 
better for yourself." 

" 'Twas not my fault," said the corporal, quickly; "but 
somehow, do what will, 'tis not always the cliverest as foresees 
the best. But I be young yet, your honour ! " 

Walter stared at the corporal, and laughed outright : the corporal 
was exceedingly piqued. 

" Augh ! mayhap you thinks, sir, that 'cause not so young as 
you, not young at all ; but what's forty, or fifty, or fifty-five, in 
public life ? Never hear much of men afore then. 'Tis the autumn 
that reaps, spring sows, augh ! — bother !" 

" Very true, and very poetical. I see you did not live among 
authors for nothing." 

" I knows summut of language, your honour," quoth the corporal, 
pedantically. 

" It is evident." 

" For, to be a man of the world, sir, must know all the ins and 
outs of speechifying ; 'tis words, sir, that makes another man's 
mare go your road. Augh ! that must have been a cliver man us 
invented language; wonders who 'twas — mayhap Moses, your 
honour?" 

" Never mind who it was," said Walter, gravely ; " use the gift 
discreetly." 

" Humph ! " said the corporal. " Yes, your honour," renewed he, 
after a pause, " it be a marvel to think on how much a man does 
in the way of cheating as has the gift of the gab. Wants a missis, 
talks her over ; wants your purse, talks you out on it ; wants a 
place, talks himself into it. What makes the parson ? — words ; the 
lawyer ? — words ; the parliament-man ? — words ! Words can ruin 
a country, in the big house ; words save souls, in the pulpits ; words 
make even them ere authors, poor creturs ! in every man's mouth 
Augh ! sir, take note of the words, and the things will take care of 
themselves — bother ! " 

" Your reflections amaze me, Bunting," said Walter, smiling 



l?-£ EVOESE ARAM. 

" But the night begins to close in : I trust we stall not meet with 
any misadventure. 

" 'Tis an ugsome bit of road ! " said the corporal, looking round 
him. 

"The pistols?" 

" Primed and loaded, your honour." 

" After all, Bunting, a little skirmish would be no bad sport — 
eh ? especially to an old soldier like you." 

" Augh, baugh ! 'tis no pleasant work, fighting, without pay, at 
least ; 'tis not like love and eating, your honour, the better for 
being what they calls ' gratis ! ' " 

" Yet I have heard you talk of the pleasure of fighting ; not for 
pay, Bunting, but for your king and country ! " 

" Augh ! and that's when I wanted to cheat the poor creturs at 
Grassdale, your honour ; don't take the liberty to talk stuff to my 
master ! " 

They continued thus to beguile the way till Walter again sank 
into a reverie, while the corporal, who began more and more to 
dislike the aspect of the ground they had entered on, still rode by 
his side. 

The road was heavy, and wound down the long hill which had 
stricken so much dismay into the corporal's stout heart on the pre- 
vious day, when he had beheld its commencement at the extremity 
of the town, where but for him they had not dined. They were 
now a little more than a mile from the said town ; the whole of the 
way was taken up by this hill ; and the road, very different from 
the smoothened declivities of the present day, seemed to have been 
cut down the very steepest part of its centre ; loose stones and deep 
ruts increased the difficulty of the descent, and it was with a slow 
pace and a guarded rein that both our travellers now continued 
their journey. On the left side of the road was a thick and lofty 
hedge j to the right, a wild, bare, savage heath, sloped downward, 
and just afforded a glimpse of the spires and chimneys of the town, 
at which the corporal was already supping in idea ! That incom- 
parable personage was, however, abruptly recalled to the present 
instant, by a most violent stumble on the part of his hard-mouthed 
Roman-nosed horse. The horse was all but down, and the corporal 
all but over. 

" D — n it," said the corporal, slowly recovering his perpendicu- 
larity ; " and the way to Lunnun was as smooth as a bowling- 
green ! " 

Ere this rueful exclamation was well out of the corporal's mouth, 
a bullet whizzed past him from the hedge ; it went so close to his 
ear, that but for that lucky stumble, Jacob Bunting had been as 
the grass of the field, which fiourisheth one moment and is cut down 
the next ! 

Startled by the sound, the corporal's horse made off full tear 
down the hill, and carried him several paces beyond his master ere 
he had power to stop its career. But "Walter, reining up Mi 
better- managed steed, looked round for the enemy, nor looked in 
vain 



ETJGEXE AJtAM. 23 

Three men started from the hedge with a simultaneous shout. 
Walter fired, Vut without effect ; ere he could lay hand on the 
second pistol his bridle was seized, and a violent blow from a long 
doable-handed bludgeon brought him to the ground. 



BOOK III. 

CHAPTER I. 

FRAUD AND VIOLENCE ENTER EVEN GEASSDALE.— PETEB'S NEWS.— ■ 
THE LOVEBS' WALK.— THE BEAPPEABANCE. 



Auf. Whence comest thou ? — What wouldest thou ? — Coriolamu. 



One evening Aram and Madeline were passing through the 
village in their accustomed walk, w'hen Peter Dealtry sallied 
forth from the " Spotted Dog;," and hurried up to the lovers with 
a countenance full of importance, and a little ruffled by fear. 

" Oh, sir, sir (miss, your servant !), — have you heard the news? 
Two houses at Checkington (a small town, some miles distant from 
Grassdale) were forcibly entered last night — robbed, your honour, 
robbed. Squire Tibson was tied to his bed, his bureau rifled, 
himself shockingly confused on the head ; and the maid-servant, 
Sally — her sister lived with me, a very good girl — was locked up in 
the cupboard. As to the other house, they carried off all the plate. 
There were no less than four men, all masked, your honour, and 
armed with pistols. What if they should come here ! such a thing 
was never heard of before in these parts. But, sir — but, miss — do 
not be afraid ; do not ye, now, for I may say with the psalmist — 

' But wicked men shall drink the dregs 
Which they in wrath shall wring ; 
For I will lift my voice, and make 
Them flee while I do sing.' " 

" You could not find a more effective method of putting them to 
flight, Peter," said Madeline, smiling ; " but go and talk to my 
uncle. I know we have a whole magazine of blunderbusses and 
guns at home ; they may be useful now. But you are well provided 
in case of attack. Have you not the corporal's famous cat, Jaco- 
bina ?— surely a match for fifty robbers ! " 

"Ay, miss, on the principle of _ set a _ thief to catch a thief, 
perhaps she may be ; but really it is no jesting matter. I don't 
say as how I am timbersome ; but, tho' flesh is grass, I does not 
wish to be cut down afore my time. Ah, Mr. Aram, your house is 
very lonesome like ; it is out of reach of all your neighbours. 



124 EUGENE AEAM. 

Hadn' f , you better, sir, take up your lodgings at the squire's for 
the present ?" 

Madeline pressed Aram's arm, and looked up fearfully in his 
face. "Why, my good friend," said he to Dealtry, "robbers will 
have little to gain in my house, unless they are given to learned 
pursuits. It would be something new, Peter, to see a gang of 
housebreakers making off with a telescope, or a pair of globes, or a 
great folio, covered with dust." 

" Ay, your honour, but they may be the more savage for being 
disappointed." 

" Well, well, Peter, we will see," replied Aram, impatiently ; 
"meanwhile we may meet you again at the hall. Good evening 
for the present." 

" Do, dearest Eugene — do, for Heaven's sake," said Madeline, 
with tears in her eyes, as, turning from Dealtry, they directed 
their steps towards the quiet valley, at the end of which the 
student's house was situated, and which was now more than ever 
Madeline's favourite walk; "do, dearest Eugene, come up to the 
manor-house till these wretches are apprehended. Consider how 
open your house is to attack ; and surely there can be no neces- 
sity to remain in it now." 

Aram's calm brow darkened for a moment. "What, dearest," 
said he, " can you be affected by the foolish fears of yon dotard ? 
How do we know as yet, whether this improbable story have any 
foundation in truth ? At all events, it is evidently exaggerated. 
Perhaps an invasion of the poultry-yard, in which some hungry 
fox was the real offender, may be the true origin of this terrible 
tale. Nay, love — nay, do not look thus reproachfully ; it will be 
time enough for us, when we have sifted the grounds of alarm, to 
take our precautions ; meanwhile, do not blame me if in your 
prestn«e I cannot admit fear. Oh, Madeline — dear, dear Made- 
line, could you guess, could you dream, how different life has 
become to me since I knew you ! Formerly, I will frankly own to 
you, that dark and boding apprehensions were wont to lie heavy at 
my heart ; the cloud was more familiar to me than the sunshine. 
But now I have grown a child, and can see around me nothing 
but hope ; my life was winter — your love has breathed it into 
spring." 

" And yet, Eugene — yet " 

" Yet what, my Madeline }" 

" There are still moments when I have no power over your 
thoughts ; moments when you break away from me ; when you 
mutter to yourself feelings in which I have no share, and which 
seem to steal the consciousness from your eye and the colour from 
your lip." 

"Ah, indeed!" said Aram, quickly; "what! you watch me so 
closely ? " 

"Can you wonder that I do!" said Madeline, with an earnest 
tenderness in her voice. 

" Ycu must not, then — you must not," returned her lover almost 
fiercely. " I cannot bear too nice and sudden a scrutiny ; con* 



BTOEK-E AHAM. 120 

eider how long I have clung to a stern and solitary independence 
of thought, which allows no watch, and forbids account of itself to 
any one. Leave it to time and your love to win their inevitable 
way. Ask not too much from me now. And mark — mark, 1 pray 
you, whenever, in spite of myself, these moods you refer to darken 
over me, heed not — listen not — leave me.' — solitude is their only 
cure ! Promise me this, love — promise." 

" It is a harsh request, Eugene ; and I do not think I will grant 
you so complete a monopoly of thought," answered Madeline, play- 
fully, yet half in earnest. 

" Madeline," said Aram, with a deep solemnity of manner, "I 
ask a request on which my very love for you depends. From the 
depths of my soul, I implore you to grant it ; yea, to the very 
letter." 

" *\Yhy, why, this is " began Madeline, when, encountering 

the full, the dark, the inscrutable gaze of her strange lover, she 
broke off in a sudden fear, which she could not analyse ; and only 
added, in a low and subdued voice — " I promise to obey you." 

As if a weight were lifted from his heart, Aram now brightened 
at once into himself in his happiest mood. He poured forth a 
torrent of grateful confidence, of buoyant love, that soon swept 
from the remembrance of the blushing and enchanted Madeline 
the momentary fear, the sudden dullness, which his look had in- 
voluntarily stricken into her mind. And as they now wound along 
the most lonely part of that wild valley, his arm twined round her 
waist, and his low but silver voice giving magic to the very air 
she breathed — she felt, perhaps, a more entire and unruffled senti- 
ment of present, &nd a more credulous persuasion of future happi 
ness, than she had ever experienced before. And Aram himself 
dwelt with a more lively and detailed fulness than he was wont, 
on the prospects they were to share, and the security and peace 
which retirement would bestow upon their life. 

" Shall it not," he said, " shall it not be, that we shall look from 
our retreat upon the shifting passions and the hollow loves of the 
distant world? We can have no petty object, no vain allurement, 
to distract the unity of our affection ; we must be all in all to each 
other : for what else can there be to engross our thoughts and oc- 
cupy our feelings here f 

" If, my beautiful love, you have selected one whom the world 
might deem a strange choice for youth and loveliness like yours, 
you have, at least, selected one who can have no idol but yourself. 
The poets tell you, and rightly, that solitude is the fit sphere for 
love ; but how few are the lovers whom solitude does not fatigue ! 
They rush into retirement, with souls unprepared for its stern joys 
and its unvarying tranquillity : they weary of each other, because 
the solitude itself to which they fled palls upon and oppresses 
them. But to me, the freedom which low minds call obscurity, is 
the aliment of life ; I do not enter the temples of Nature as a 
stranger, but the priest : nothing can ever tire me of the lone and 
august altars on which I sacrificed my youth : and now, what 
nature, what wisdom once were to me — no, no, more, immeasur- 



126 EUGENE AIU.JI. 

ably more than, these — you are ! Oh, Madeline ! methinks there is 
nothing under heaven like the feeling which puts us apart from all 
that agitates, and fevers, and degrades the herd of men ; which 
grants us to control the tenor of our future life, because it annihi- 
lates our dependence upon others ; and while the rest of earth are 
hurried on, blind and unconscious, by the hand of Fate, leaves us 
the sole lords of our destiny : and able, from the Past, which we 
have governed, to become the prophets of our Future ! " 

At this moment Madeline uttered a faint shriek, and clung 
trembling to Aram's arm. Amazed, and aroused from his enthu- 
siasm, he looked up, and on seeing the cause of her alarm, seemed 
himself transfixed, as by a sudden terror, to the earth. 

But a few paces distant, standing amidst the long and rank fern 
that grew on either side of their path, quite motionless, and looking 
on the pair with a sarcastic smile, stood the ominous stranger, 
whom the second chapter of our first Book introduced to the reader. 

For one instant Aram seemed utterly appalled and overcome ; his 
cheek grew the colour of death ; and Madeline felt his heart beat 
with a loud, a fearful force beneath the breast to which she clung. 
But n was not the nature any earthly dread could long daunt. 
He whispered to Madeline to come on : and slowly, and with his 
usual firm but gliding step, continued his way. 

" Good evening, Eugene Aram," said the stranger ; and as he 
spoke, he touched his hat slightly to Madeline. 

"I thank you," replied the student, in a calm voice; "do you 
want aught with me ? ' 

" Humph ! — yes, if it so please you." 

" Pardon me, dear Madeline," said Aram, softly, and disengag- 
ing himself from her, " but for one moment." 

He advanced to the stranger ; and Madeline could not but note 
that, as Aram a ecosted him, his brow fell, and his manner seemed 
violent and agitated : but she could not hear the words of either ; 
nor did the conference last above a minute. The stranger bowed, 
and turning away, soon vanished among the shrubs. Aram re- 
gained the side of his mistress. 

"Who," cried she, eagerly, " is that fearful man ? "What is his 
business ? What his name ? " 

" He is a man whom I knew well some fourteen years ago," re- 

filied Aram, coldly, and with ease ; " I did not then lead quite so 
onely a life ; and we were thrown much together. Since that 
time, he has been in unfortunate circumstances — rejoined the army 
—he was in early life a soldier, and had been disbanded — entered 
into business, and failed ; in short, he has partaken of those vicissi- 
tudes inseparable from the life of one driven to seek the world. 
When he travelled this road some months ago, he accidentally 
heard of my residence in the neighbourhood, and naturally sought 
me. Poor as I am, I was of some assistance to him. His route 
brings him hither again, and he again seeks me : I suppose, too, 
that I must again aid him." 

" And is that, indeed, all }" said Madeline, breathing more freely. 
" Well, poor man, if he be your friend, he must be inoffensive — I 



127 

have done him wrong. And does lie want money ? I have some 
to give him— here, Eugene 5 " And the simple-hearted girl put her 
purse into Aram's hand. 

"No, dearest," said he, shrinking back, "no, we shall not require 
your contribution : I can easily spare him e»ough for the present 
But let us turn back, it grows chill." 

" And why did he have us, Eugene ! " 

" Because I desired him to visit me at home an hour hence." 

" An hour ! then you will not sup with us to-night ? " 

" No, not this night, dearest." 

The conversation now ceased ; Madeline in vain endeavoured to 
renew it. Aram, though without relapsing into one of his frequent 
reveries, answered her only in monosyllables. They arrived at the 
manor-house, and Aram at the garden-gate took leave of her for 
the night, and hastened backward towards his home. Madeline, 
after watching his form through the deepening shadows until it 
disappeared, entered the house with a listless step ; a nameless and 
thrilling- presentiment crept to her heart ; and she could have sat 
down and wept, though without a cause. 



CHAPTER II. 

THB INTERVIEW BETWEEN AEAM AND THE 8TRANGEB. 



The spirits I have raised abandon me ; 

The spells which I have studied baffle me. — Manfred. 



Meanwhile Aram strode rapidly through the village, and not 
till he had regained the solitary valley did he relax his step. 

The evening had already deepened into night. Along the sere 
and melancholy woods the autumnal winds crept with a lowly but 
gathering moan. Where the water held its course, a damp and 
ghostly mist clogged the air ; but the skies were calm, and che- 
quered, only by a few clouds, that swept in long, white, spectral 
streaks, over the solemn stars. Now and then the bat wneeled 
swiftly round, almost touching the figure of the student, as he 
walked musingly onward. And the owl* that before the month 
waned many days would be seen no more in that region, came 
heavily from the trees, like a guilty thought that deserts its shade. 
It was one of those nights half-dim, half-glorious, which mark the 
early decline of the year. Nature seemed restless and instinct with 
change ; there were those signs in the atmosphere which leave the 
most experienced in doubt whether the morning may rise in storm 
or sunshine. And in this particular period, the skyey influences 
seem to tineture the animal life with their own mysterious and 
wayward spirit of change. The birds desert their summer haunts ; 
an unaccountable disquietude pervades the brute creation ; evcm 

• Tbrt species called the short-eared owL 



12» 

■men in this unsettled season have considered themselves, more than 
at others, stirred by the motion and whisperings of their genius. 
And every creature that flows upon the tide of the Universal Life 
of things, feels upon the ruffled surface the mighty and solemn 
change which is at work within its depths. 

And now Aram had nearly threaded the valley, and his own abode 
became visible on the opening plain, when the stranger emerged 
from the trees to the right, and suddenly stood before the student. 
" I tarried for you here, Aram," said he, " instead of seeking you 
at home, at the time you fixed : for there are certain private rea- 
sons which mnke it prudent I should keep as much as possible 
among the owls, and it was therefore safer, if not more pleasant, to 
lie here amidst the fern, than to make myself merry in the village 
yonder." 

" And what," said Aram, "again brings you hither? Did you 
not say, when you visited me some months since, that you were 
about to settle in a different part of the country with a re- 
lation ? " 

" And so I intended ; but Fate, as you would say, or the Devil, 
as I should, ordered it otherwise. I had not long left you, when I 
fell in with some old friends, bold spirits and true ; the brave out- 
laws of the road and the field. Shall I have any shame in confess- 
ing that I preferred their society, a society not unfamiliar to me, 
to the dull and solitary life that I might have led in tending my 
old bedridden relation in Wales, who, after all, may live these 
twenty years, and at the end can scarcely leave me enough for a 
week's ill-luck at the hazard-table ? In a word, I joined my gal- 
lant friends, and intrusted myself to their guidance. Since then, 
we have cruised around the country, regaled ourselves cheerly, 
frightened the timid, silenced the fractious, and by the help of your 
fate, or my devil, have found ourselves, by accident, brought to ex- 
hibit our valour in this very district, honoured by the dwelling- 
place of my learned friend Eugene Aram." 

" Trifle not with me, Houseman," said Aram, sternly ; " I 
scarcely yet understand you. Do you mean to imply that yourself, 
and the lawless associates you say you have joined, are lying out 
now for plunder in these parts ? " 

" You say it : perhaps you heard of our exploits last night, some 
four miles hence ? " 

" Ha ! was that villany yours ? " 

" Villany ! " repeated Houseman, in a tone of sullen offence 
" Come, Master Aram, these words must not pass between you and 
me, friends of such date, and on such a footing." 

" Talk not of the past," replied Aram, with a livid lip, " and 
call not those whom Destiny once, in despite of Nature, drove down 
her dark tide in a momentary companionship, by the name of 
friends. Friends we are not; but while we live there is a tie 
between us stronger than that of friendship." 

"You speak truth and wisdom," said Houseman, sneeringly; 
■"for my part, I care not what you call us, friends or foes." 

" Foes, foes !" exclaimed Aram, abruptly; "not that. Has life 



EUGENE ARAM. 129 

in medium in its ties f — Pooh — pooh ! not foes ; we may not be foos 
to each other." 

" It were foolish, at least at present," said Houseman, carelessly. 
" Look you, Houseman," continued Aram, drawing his comrade 
from the path into a wilder part of the scone, and, as he spoke, his 
words were couched in a more low and inward voice than hereto- 
fore. " Look you, I cannot live and have my life darkened thus by 
your presence. Is not the world wide enough for us both ? Why 
haunt each other ! What have you to gain from me ? Can the 
thoughts that my sight recalls to you be brighter, or more peaceful, 
than those which start upon me when I gaze on you * Does not a 
ghastly air, a charnel breath, hover about us both? Why per- 
versely incur a torture it is so easy to avoid ? Leave me — leave 
these scenes. All earth spreads before you — choose your pursuits 
and your resting-place elsewhere, but grudge me not this little 
spot." 

" I have no wish to disturb you, Eugene Aram, but I must live : 
and in order to live, I must obey my companions : if I deserted 
them, it would be to starve. They will not linger long in this dis- 
trict ; a week, it may be ; a fortnight at most : then, like the 
Indian animal, they will strip the leaves and desert the tree. In a 
word, after we have swept the country, we are gone." 

" Houseman, Houseman !" said Aram, passionately, and frowning 
till his brows almost hid his eyes ; but that part of the orb which 
they did not hide, seemed as living fire ; " I now implore, but I can 
threaten — beware ! — silence, I say " (and he stamped his foot vio- 
lently on the ground, as he saw Houseman about to interrupt 
him) ; " listen to me throughout. Speak not to me of tarrying 
here — speak not of days, of weeks — every hour of which would 
sound upon my ear like a death-knell. Dream not of a sojourn ia 
these tranquil shades, upon an errand of dread and violence — tho 
minions ot the law aroused against you, girt with the chances of 

apprehension and a shameful death " 

"And a full confession of my past sins," interrupted House- 
man, laughing wildly. 

"Fiend! devil!" cried Aram, grasping his comrade by the 
throat, and shaking him with a vehemence that Houseman, though 
a man of great strength and sinew, impotently attempted to resist. 
" Breathe but another word of such import ; dare to menace me 
with the vengeance of such a thing as thou, and by the Heaven 
above us, I will lay thee dead at my feet !" 

" lielease my throat, or you will commit murder," gasped 
Houseman, with difficulty, and growing already black in the 
face. 

Aram suddenly relinquished his gripe, and walked away with 
a hurried step, muttering to himself. He then returned to the 
side of Houseman, whose flesh still quivered either with rage or 
tlar, and, his own self-possession completely restored, stood gazing 
upon him with folded arms, and his usual deep and passionless 
composure of countenance ; and Houseman, if he could not boldly 
confront, did not altogether shrink from, his eye. So there and 



J30 EUGENE ARAM. 

thus they stood, at a little distance from each other, both silent, and 
yet with something unutterably fearful in their silence. 

" Houseman," said Aram, at length, in a calm, yet a hollow 
voice, "it maybe that I was wrong; but there lives no man on 
earth, save you, who could thus stir my blood, — nor you with ease. 
And know, when you menace me, that it is not your menace that 
subdues or shakes my spirit ; but that which robs my veins of 
their even tenor is, that you should deem your menace could have 
euch power, or that you, — that any man, — should arrogate to him- 
self the thought that he could, by the prospect of whatsoever 
danger, humble the soul and curb the will of Eugene Aram. And 
now I am calm ; say what you will, I cannot be vexed again." 

"I have done," replied Houseman, coldly. " I have nothing to 
say ; farewell ! " and he moved away among the trees. 

" Stay," cried Aram, in some agitation, " stay ; we must not 
part thus. Look you, Houseman, you say you would starve, 
should you leave your present associates. That may not be ; quit 
them this night, — this moment : leave the neighbourhood, and the 
little in my power is at your will." 

"As to that," said Houseman, drily, "what is in your power 
is, I fear me, so little as not to counterbalance the advantages I 
should lose in quitting my companions. I expect to net some three 
hundreds before I leave these parts." 

"Some three hundreds!" repeated Aram, recoiling: "that 
were indeed beyond me. I told you when we last met, that it 
is only from an annual payment I draw the means of sub- 
sistence." 

" I remember it. I do not ask you for money, Eugene Aram ; these 
hands can maintain me," replied Houseman, smiling grimly. "I 
told you at once the sum I expected to receive somewhere, in order 
to prove that you need not vex your benevolent heart to afford me 
relief. I knew well the sum I named was out of your power, 
unless, indeed, it be part of the marriage portion you are about to 
receive with your bride. Fie, Aram ! what, secrets from your old 
friend ! You see I pick up the news of the place without your 
confidence." 

Again Aram's face worked, and his lip quivered; but he 
conquered his passion with a surprising self-command, and an- 
swered mildly, — 

" I do not know, Houseman, whether I shall receive any mar- 
riage portion whatsoever ; if I do, I am willing to make some 
arrangement by which I could engage you to molest me no more. 
But it yet wants several days to my marriage ; quit the neigh- 
bourhood now, and a month hence let us meet again. Whatever 
at that time may be my resources, you shall frankly know them." 

"It cannot be," said Houseman. "I quit not these districts 
without a certain sum, not in hope, but possession. But why 
interfere with me ? I seek not my hoards in your coffer. "Why 
80 anxious that I should not breathe the same air as yourself?" 

" It matters not," replied Aram, with a deep and ghastly voioe ; 
" but when vou are near me, 1 feel as if I were with the dead : it 



BUGKNK AKAM 131 

is a spectre I would exorcise in ridding me of your presence. Yet 
this is not what I now speak of. You are engaged, aocording to 
your own lips, in lawless and midnight schemes, in which you may 
;and the tide of ohances runs towards that bourne) be seized by 
the hand of Justice." 

"Ho!" said Houseman, sullenly; "and was it not for saying 
that you feared this, and its probable con3equences, that you well- 
nigh stifled me, but now ?— So truth may be said one moment with 
impunity, and the next at peril of life ! These are the subtleties 
of you wise schoolmen, I suppose. Your Aristotles and your 
Zenos, your Platos and your Epicuruses, teach you notable dis- 
tinctions, truly ! " 

"Peace!" said Aram; "are we at all times ourselves? Are 
the passions never our masters ? You maddened me into anger ; 
behold, I am now calm : the subjects discussed between myself 
and you are of life and death ; let us approach them with our 
senses collected and prepared. What, Houseman, are you bent 
upon your own destruction, as well as mine, that you persevere in 
courses which must end in a death of shame? " 

" What else can I do ? I will not work, and I cannot live like 
you in a lone wilderness on a crust of bread. Nor is my name like 
yours, mouthed by the praise of honest men : my character is 
marked ; those who once welcomed me shun now. I have no 
resource, for society (for I cannot face myself alone), but in the 
fellowship of men uke myself, whom the world has thrust from its 
pale. I have no resource for bread, save in the pursuits that are 
branded by justice, and accompanied with snares and danger. 
What would you have me do ? " 

" Is it not better," said Aram, " to enjoy peace and safety upon 
a small but certain pittance, than to live thus from hand to 
mouth? vibrating from wealth to famine, and the rope around 
your neck, sleeping and awake ? Seek your relation ; in that 
quarter, you vourself said your character was not branded : live 
with him, and know the quiet of easy days, and I promise you, 
that if aught be in my power to make your lot more suitable to 
your wants, so long as you lead the life of honest men, it shall be 
freely yours. Is not this better, Houseman, than a short and 
sleepless career of dread ? " 

" Aram," answered Houseman, " are you, in truth, calm enough 
1o hear me speak ? I warn you, that if again you forget yourself, 
and lay hands on mt " 

" Threaten not, threaten not," interrupted Aram, " but proceed ; 
;'U within me is now still and cold as ice. Proceed without fear 
(T scruple." 

" Be it so ; we do not love one another ; you have affected con- 
tempt for me — and I — I — no matter — I am not a stone or a stick, 
that I should not feel. You have scorned me — you have outraged 
me — you have not used towards me even the decent hypocrisies of 
prudence — yet now you would ask of me the conduct, the sym- 
pathy, the forbearance, the concession of friendship. You wish 
that I should quit these scenes, where, to my judgment, a certaiu 

K 2 



132 EUGENE ABAll. 

advantage awaits me, solely that I may lighten your breast of its 
selfish fears. You dread the dangers that await me on your own 
account. And in my apprehension, you forebode your own doom. 
You ask me, nay ,_ not ask, you would command, you would awe me 
to sacrifice my will and wishes, in order to soothe your anxieties 
and strengthen your own safety. Mark me ! Eugene Aram, I have 
been treated as a tool, and I will not be governed as a friend. I 
will not stir from the vicinity of your home till my designs be 
fulfilled,— I enjoy, I hug myself in your torments, I exult in the 
terror with which you will near of each new enterprise, each new 
daring, each new triumph of myself and my gallant comrades. 
And now I am avenged for the affront you put upon me." 

Though Aram trembled with suppressed passions, from limb to 
to limb, his voice was still calm, and his lip even wore a smile as 
he answered, — 

" I was prepared for this, Houseman ; you utter nothing that 
surprises or appals me. You hate me ; it is natural : men united 
as we are, rarely look on each other with a friendly or a pitying 
eye. But, Houseman, I know yott ! — you are a man of vehement 
passions, but interest with you is yet stronger than passion. If 
not, our conference is over. Go — and do your worst." 

" You are right, most learned scholar ; I can fetter the tiger 
within, in his deadliest rage, by a golden chain." 

" Well, then, Houseman, it is not your interest to betray me — 
my destruction is your own." 

" I grant it ; but if I am apprehended, and to be hung for 
robbery ?" 

" It will be no longer an object to you, to care for my safety. 
Assuredly, I comprehend this. But my interest induces me to wish 
that you be removed from the peril of apprehension, and your 
interest replies, that if you can obtain equal advantages in security, 
you would forego advantages accompanied by peril. Say what we 
will, wander as we will, it is to this point that we must return 
at last." 

"Nothing can be clearer; and were you a rich man, Eugene 
Aram, or could you obtain your bride's dowry (no doubt a re- 
spectable sum) in advance, the arrangement might at once be 
settled." 

Aram gasped for breath, and, as usual with him in emotion, 
made several strides, muttering rapidly and indistinctly to himself, 
and then returned. 

" Even were this possible, it would be but a short reprieve : I 
could not trust you ; the sum would be spent, and I again in the 
state to which you have compelled me now, but without the means 
again to relieve myself. No, no ! if the blow must fall, be it so 
one day as another." 

" As you will," said Houseman : " but " Just at that 

moment, a long shrill whistle sounded below, as from the water. 
Houseman paused abruptly—" That signal is from my comrades ; 
I must away. Hark, again ! Farewell, Aram." 

" Farewell, if it must bo so," said Aram, in a tone of dogged 



EUGENE ARAM. 133 

Millennia; "but to-morrow, should you snow of any means by 
which I could feci secure, beyond the security of your own word. 
from your future molestation, 1 might —yet how?" 

" Tu-morrow," said Houseman, " I cannot answer for myself: 
it is not always that I can have my comrades : a natural jealousy 
makes them suspicious of the absence of their friends. Yet hold; 
the night after to-morrow, the Sabbath night, most virtuous Aram, 
I can meet you — but not here — some miles hence. You know the 
foot of the Devil's Crag, by the waterfall ; it is a spot quiet and 
shaded enough in all conscience for our interview : and I will tell 
you a secret 1 would trust to no other man (hark, again !) — it is 
close by our present lurking-place. Meet me there! — it would, 
indeed, be plcasanter to hold our conference under shelter— but 
just at present, I would rather not trust myself beneath any honest 
man's roof in this neighbourhood. Adieu ! on Sunday night, one 
hour before midnight." 

The robber, for such then he was, waved his hand, and hurried 
away in the direction from which the signal seemed to come. 

Aram gazed after him, but with vacant eyes : and remained for 
several minutes rooted to the spot, as if the very life had left him. 

"The Sabbath night!" said he, at length, moving slowly on ; 
" and I must spin forth my existence in trouble and fear till then 
— till then ! what remedy can I then invent ? It is clear that I can. 
have no dependence on his word, if won ; and I have not even 
auebt wherewith to buy it. But courage, courage, my heart : and 
work thou my busy brain ! Ye have never failed me yet ! " 



CHAPTER III. 

FEESH ALARM IN THE VILLAGE.— LESTEE'S VISIT TO ARAM.— A TEAIT 
OF DELICATE KINDNESS IN THE STUDENT.— MADELINE.— HER 
rBONF.NESS TO CONFIDE. — THE CONVEESATION BETWEEN LESTEB 
AND ARAM.— THE PEBSONS BY WHOM IT IS INTEBRUPTED. 



Not my own fears, nor the prophetic soul 

Of the wide world, dreaming on things to come, 

Can yet the lease of my true love control. 

Shakspeare's Soi.<u U. 

Commend me to their love, and I am proud, say. 
That my occasions have found time to use them, 
Toward a supply of money ; let the request 
Be fifty talents. — Ttmon of Athens. 



The next morning the whole village was alive and bustling with 
terror and consternation. Another, and a yet more daring robbery 
had been committed in the neighbourhood, and the police of the 
county town had been summoned, and were now busy in search of 
tbe offenders. Aram had been early disturbed by the officious 



I'M uEmLXE ai;am. 

anxiety of some of his neighbours ; and it wanted yet some hours 
of noon, when Lester himself came to seek and consult with the 
student. 

Aram was alone in his large and gloomy chamber, surrounded, 
as usual, by his books, but not as usual, engaged in their contents. 
With his face leaning on his hand, and his eyes gazing on a dull 
fire, that crept heavily upward through the damp fuel, he sat by 
his hearth, listless, but wrapped in thought. 

" Well, my friend," said Lester, displacing the books from one 
of the chairs, and drawing the seat near the student's — " you have 
ere this heard the news ; and, indeed, in a county so quiet as ours, 
these outrages appear the more fearful from their being so 
unlooked for. _ We must set a guard in the village, Aram, and you 
must leave this defenceless hermitage and come down to us, — not 
for your own sake, but consider you will be an additional safeguard 
to Madeline. You will lock up the house, dismiss your poor old 
governant to her friends in the village, and walk back with me at 
once to the hall." 

Aram turned uneasily in his chair. 

" I feel your kindness," said he, after a pause, " but I cannot 

accept it, — Madeline " he stopped short at that name, and 

added, in an altered voice, — " no, I will be one of the watch, 
Lester ; I will look to her — to your — safety ; but I cannot sleep 
under another roof. I am supertitious, Lester — superstitious. 
I have made a vow, a foolish one, perhaps, but I dare not break 
it. And my vow binds me, not to pass a night, save on indis- 
pensable and urgent necessity, anywhere but in my own home." 

" But there is necessity." 

" My conscience says not," said Aram, smiling. " Peace, my 
good friend, we cannot conquer men's foibles, or wrestle with men's 
scruples." 

Lester in vain attempted to shake Aram's resolution on this 
head ; he found him immoveable, and gave up the effort in 
despair. 

" Well," said he, " at all events we have set up a watch, andean 
spare you a couple of defenders. They shall reconnoitre in the 
neighbourhood of your house, if you persevere in your determi- 
nation ; and this will serve, in some slight measure, to satisfy 
poor Madeline." 

" Be it so," replied Aram ; " and dear Madeline herself, is she 
so alarmed ? " 

And now, in spite of all the more wearing and haggard thoughts 
that preyed upon his breast, and the dangers by which he con- 
ceived himself Deset, the student's face, as he listened with eager 
attention to every word that Lester uttered concerning his daughter 
testified how alive he yet was to the least incident that related to 
Madeline, and how easily her innocent and peaceful remembrance 
could allure him from himself. 

" This room," said Lester, looking round, " will be, I conclude, 
after Madeline's own heart ; but v.ill you always suffer her herei 1 
Stu ]enta d> not sometimes like even the gentlest interruption.'' 



EUGENE AJtAM. 130 

" I have not forgotten that Madeline's comfort requires some 
more cheerful retreat than this," said Aram, with a melancholy 
expression of countenance. " Follow me, Lester ; I meant this for 
a little surprise to her. But Heaven only knows if I shall ever 
show it to herself." 

" "Why ? what doubt of that can even your boding temper in- 
dulge?" 

" We are as the wanderers in the desert," answered Aram, " who 
are taught wisely to distrust their own senses : that which they 
froze upon as the waters of existence, is often but a faithless vapour 
that would lure them to destruction." 

In thus speaking he had traversed the room, and, opening a 
door, showed a small chamber with which it communicated, and 
which Aram had fitted up with evident, and not ungraceful oare. 
Every article of furniture that Madeline might most fancy, he had 
procured from the neighbouring town. And some of the lighter 
and more attractive books that he possessed were ranged around 
on shelves, above which were vases, intended for flowers ; the 
window opened upon a little plot that had been lately broken up 
into a small garden, and was already intersected with walks, and 
rich with shrubs. 

There was something in this chamber that so entirely contrasted 
the one it adjoined, something so light, and cheerful, and even gay 
in its decoration and general aspect, that Lester uttered an excla- 
mation of delight and surprise. And indeed it did appear to hic\ 
touching, that this austere scholar, so wrapped in thought, and so 
inattentive to the common forms of life, should have manifested so 
much of tender and delicate consideration. In another it would 
have been nothing, but in Aram it was a trait that brought invo- 
luntary tears to the eyes of the good Lester ; Aram observed them; 
he walked hastily away to the window, and sighed heavily ; this 
did not escape his friend's notice, and after commenting on the 
attractions of the little room, Lester said — 

" You seem oppressed in spirits, Eugene : can anything have 
chanced to disturb you, beyond, at least, these alarms, which are 
enough to agitate the nerves of the hardiest of us ? " 

" }\o," said Aram ; " I had no sleep last night, and my health is 
easily affected, and with my_ health my mind. But let us go to 
Madeline ; the sight of her will revive me." 

They then strolled down to the manor-house, and met by the 
way a band of the younger heroes of the village, who had volun- 
teered to act as a patrol, and who were now marshalled by Peter 
Dealtry, in a fit of neroic enthusiam. 

Although it was broad daylight, and consequently there was 
little cause of immediate alarm, the worthy publican carried on his 
shoulder a musket on full cock ; and each moment he kept peeping 
about, as if not only every bush, but every blade of grass, con- 
tained an ambuscade, ready to spring up the instant he was off his 
guard. By his side the redoubted Jacobina, who had transferred 
to her new master the attachment she had originally possessed for 
the corporal, trotted pecringly along, her tail perpendicularly 



,36 EUGENE ARAM. 

cocked, and her ears moving to and fro with a most incomparable 
air of vigilant sagacity. The cautious Peter every now and then 
checked her ardour, as she was about to quicken her step, and 
enliven the march by gambols better adapted to serener times. 

" Soho, Jacobina, soho ! gently, girl, gently : thou little knowest 
the dangers that may beset thee. Come up, my good fellows, come 
to the ' Spotted Dog ;' I will tap a barrel on purpose for you ; and 
we will settle the plan of defence for the night. Jacobina, come in, 
1 say ; come in, 

' Lest, like a lion, they thee tear, 
And rend in pieces small : 
While there is none to succour thee, 
And rid thee out of thrall.' 

What ho, there ! Oh ! I beg your honour's pardon ! Your servant, 
Mr. Aram." 

" What, patrolling already r " said the squire ; " your men will 
be tired before they are wanted ; reserve their ardour for the 
night." 

" Oh, your honour, I have only been beating up for recruits ; and 
we are going to consult a bit at home. Ah ! what a pity the cor- 
poral isn't here : he would have been a tower of strength unto the 
righteous. But howsomever, I do my best to supply his place — 
Jacobina, child, be still : I can't say as I knows the musket-sar- 
vice, your honour ; but I fancy's as how we can do it extem- 
poraneous-like, at a pinch." 

" A bold heart, Peter, is the best preparation," said the squire. 

" And," quoth Peter, quickly, " what saith the worshipful 
Mister Sternhold, in the 45th Psalm, 5th verse ? — 

• Go forth with godly speed, in meekness, truth, and might, 
And thy right hand shall thee instruct in works of dreadful might.' " 

Peter quoted these verses, especially the last, with a truculent 
frown, and a brandishing of the musket, that surprisingly encou- 
raged the hearts of his little armament ; and with a general mur- 
mur of enthusiasm, the warlike band marched off to the " Spotted 
Dog." 

i^ester and his companion found Madeline and Ellinor standing 
at the window of the hall ; and Madeline's light step was the first 
that sprang forward to welcome their return : even the face of the 
student brightened when he saw the kindling eye, the parted lip, 
the buoyant form, from which the pure and innocent gladness she 
felt on seeing him broke forth. 

There was a remarkable trustfulness in Madeline's disposition. 
Thoughtful and grave as she was by nature, she was yet ever in- 
clined to the more sanguine colourings of life ; she never turned to 
the future with fear — a placid sentiment of hope slept at her heart 
— she was one who surrendered herself with a fond and implicit 
faith to the guidance of all she loved ; and to the chances of life. 
It was a sweet indolence of the mind, which made one of her most 
beautiful traits of character; there is something so unselfish in 
tempers reluctant to despond. You see that such persons are not 



KUGIINE 4UAM. 13* 

eccupied with their own existence ; they are not fretting the calm 
of the present life with the egotisms of care, and conjeoture, and 
calculation ; if they learn anxiety, it is for another : but in the 
heart of that other, how entire is their trust ! 

It was this disposition in Madeline which perpetually charmed, 
and yet perpetually wrung, the soul of her wild lover ; and as she 
now delightedly hung upon his arm, uttering her joy at seeing him 
eafe, and presently forgetting' that there ever had been cause for 
alarm, his heart was tilled with the most gloomy sense of horror 
and desolation. " What," thought he, " if this poor unconscious 
girl could dream that at this moment I am girded with peril, from 
which I see no ultimate e?caj e ? Delay it as I will, it seems as if 
the blow must come at last. What, if she could think how fearful 
is my interest in these outrages, that in all probability, if their 
authors are detected, there is one who will drag me into their ruin ; 
that I am given over, bound and blinded, into the hands of another ; 
and that other, a man steeled to mercy, and withheld from my 
destruction by a thread — a thread that a blow on himself would 
snap. Great God ! wherever I turn I see despair ! And she — she 
clings to me ; and beholding me, thinks the whole earth is filled 
with hope ! " 

While these thoughts darkened his mind, Madeline drew him 
onward into the more sequestered walks of the garden, to show 
him some flowers she had transplanted. And when an hour after- 
wards he returned to the hall, so soothing had been the influence of 
her looks and words upon Aram, that if he had not forgotten the 
situation in which ho stood, he had at least calmed himself to 
regard with a steady eye the chances of escape. 

The meal of the day passed as cheerfully as usual, and when 
Aram and his host were left over their abstemious potations, the 
former proposed a walk before the evening deepened. Lester 
readily consented, and they sauntered into the fields. The squire 
soon perceived that something was on Aram's mind, of which he 
felt evident embarrassment in ridding himself ; at length the stu- 
dent said, rather abruptly, — 

" My dear friend, I am but a bad beggar, and therefore let me 
get over my request as expeditiously as possible. You said to me 
once that you intended bestowing some dowry upon Madeline — a 
dowry I would and could willingly dispense with ; but should you 
of that sum be now able to spare me some portion as a loan, — 
should you have some three hundred pounds with which you could 
accommodate me " 

" Say no more, Eugene, say no more," interrupted the squire ; 
" you can have double that amount. _ I ought to have foreseen that 
your preparations for your approaching marriage must have occa- 
sioned you some inconvenience : you can have six hundred pounds 
from me to-morrow." 

Aram's eyes brightened. " It is too much, too much, my 
generous friend," said he ; " the half suffices ; — but, but, a debt of 
old standing presses me urgently, and to-morrow, or rather Mon- 
day morning, i* the time fixed for payment." 



13* EUGEJS'E A.RAM. 

" Consider it arranged," said Lester, putting Ms band cm Aram's 
arm ; and then leaning on it gently, he added, " And now that we 
are on this subject, let me tell you what I intended as a gift to you 
and my dear Madeline ; it is but small, but my estates are rigidly 
entailed on "Walter, and of poor value in themselves, and it is half 
the savings of many years." 

The squire then named a sum, which, however small it may 
seem to our reader, was not considered a despicable portion for the 
daughter of a small country squire at that day, and was, in reality, 
a generous sacrifice for one whose whole income was scarcely, at 
the most, seven hundred a year. The sum mentioned doubled 
that now to be lent, and which was of course a part of it ; an equal 
portion was reserved for Ellinor. 

" And to tell you the truth," said the squire, " you must give- 
me some little time for the remainder — for not thinking some- 
months ago it would be so soon wanted, I laid out eighteen hundred 
pounds in the purchase of Winclose farm, six of which (the re- 
mainder of your share) I can pay off at the end of the year : the 
other twelve, Ellinor's portion, will remain a mortgage on the farm 
itself. And between us," added the squire, "I do hope that I 
need be in no hurry respecting her, dear girl. When Walter 
returns, I trust matters may be arranged, in a manner, and through 
a channel, that would gratify the most cherished wish of my heart. 
I am convinced that Ellinor is exactly suited to him ; and, unless 
he should lose his senses for some one else in the course of his 
travels, I trust that he will not be long_ returned before he will 
make the same discovery. I think of writing to him very shortly 
after your marriage, and making him promise, at all events, to- 
revisit us at Christmas. Ah ! Eugene, we shall be a happy party 
then, I trust. And be assured that we shall beat up your quarters 
and put your hospitality and Madeline's housewifery to the 
test." 

Therewith the good squire ran on for some minutes in the warmth 
of his heart, dilating on the fireside prospects before them, and 
rallying the student on those secluded habits, which he promised 
him he should no longer indulge with impunity. 

" But it is growing dark," said he, awakening from the theme 
which had carried him away, "and by this time Peter and our 
patrol will be at the hall. I told them to look up in the evening, 
m order to appoint their several duties and stations — let us turn 
back. Indeed, Aram, I can assure you that I, for my own part, 
have some strong reasons to take precautions against any attack ; 
for besides the old family plate (though that's not much), I have, 
— you know the bureau in the parlour to the left of the hall ? — well, 
I have in that bureau three hundred guineas, which I have not as 

yet been able to take to safe hands at , and which, by theway,. 

will be yours to-morrow. So, you see, it would be no light misfor- 
tune to me to be robbed." 

" Hist ! " said Aram, stopping short ; " I think I heard steps on 
the other side of the hedge." 

The squire listened, but heard nothing ; the senses of his d i*n ■ 



kciui.m; akam. 13» 

panion were, however, remarkably acute, more especially that of 
hearing. 

" There is certainly some one : nay, I catch the steps of two per- 
sons." ■whispered he to Lester. 

"Let us come round the hedge by the trap below." 
Tliey both quickened their pace ; and gaining the other side of 
the hedge, did indeed perceive two men in carter s frocks, strolling 
on towards the village. 

"They are strangers, too," said th. squire, suspiciously; "not 
Grassdale men. Humph! could they Lave overheard us, think 
you?" 

" If men whose business it is to overhear their neighbours — yes ; 
but not if they be honest men," answered Aram, in one of those 
shrewd remarks which he often uttered, and which seemed almost 
incompatible with the tenor of those quiet and abstruse pursuits 
that generally deaden the mind to worldly wisdom. 

They had now approached the strangers, who, however, appeared 
mere rustic clowns, and who pulled off their hats with the wonted 
obeisance of their tribe. 

" Holla, my men," said the squire, assuming his magisterial air ; 
for the mildest squire in Christendom can play the bashaw when he 
remembers he is a justice of the peace. "Holla! what are you 
doing here this time of day f You are not after any good, I fear." 

"We ax pardon, your honour," said the elder clown, in the 
peculiar accent of the country, but we be come from Gladsmuir, 
and be going to work at Squire Nixon's, at Mowhall, on Monday ; 
so as I has a brother living on the green afore the squire's, we De 
a-going to sleep at his house to-night and spend the Sunday there, 
your honour." 

" Humph ! humph ! What's your name ? " 

" Joe Wood, your honour ! and this here chap is "Will Hutehings." 

" Well, well, go along with you," said the sgnire ; " and mind 
what you are about. I should not be surprised if you snared one 
of Squire Nixon's hares by the way. 

" Oh, well and indeed, your honour " 

" Go along, go along," said the squire, and away went the men. 

" They seem honest bumpkins enough," observed Lester. 

" It would have pleased me better," said Aram, "had the speaker 
of the two particularised less ; and you observed that he seemed 
eager not to let his companion speak : that is a little suspicious." 

" Shall I call them back ?" asked the squire. 

" Why it is scarcely worth while," said Aram ; " perhaps I over- 
refine. And now I look again at them, they seem really what they 
affect to be. No, it is useless to molest the poor wretches any more. 
There is something, Lester, humbling to human pride in a rustic's 
life. It grates against the heart to think of the tone in which we 
unconsciously permit ourselves to address him. We see in him 
humanity in its simple state : it is a sad thought to feel that we 
despise it ; that all we respect in our species is what has been created 
by art; the gaudy dress, the glittering equipage, or even the culti- 
vated intellect; the mere and naked material of nature we eye with- 



HO EUGENE ARAM. 

indifference or trample on with disdain. Poor child of toil, from the 
grey dawn to the setting sun, one long task !— no idea elicited, no 
thought awakened, beyond those that suffice to make him the 
machine of others — the serf of the hard soil. And then, too, mark 
how we scowl upon his scanty holidays, how we hedge in his mirth 
with laws, and turn his hilarity into crime ! We make the whole 
of the gay world, wherein we walk and take our pleasure, to him a 
place of snares and perils. If he leave his labour for an instant, 
in that instant how many temptations spring up to him ! And yet 
we have no mercy for his errors ; the gaol — the transport-ship — the 
gallows ; those are the illustrations of our lecture-books, — those 
the bounds of every vista that we cut through the labyrinth of our 
laws. Ah, fie on the disparities of the world ! They cripple the 
heart, they blind the sense, they concentrate the thousand links 
between man and man, into the two basest of earthly ties — servility 
and pride. Methinks the devils laugh out when they hear us teU 
the boor that his soul is as glorious and eternal as our own ; and 
yet when, in the grinding drudgery of his life, not a spark of that 
soul can be called forth; when it sleeps, walled around in its 
lumpish clay, from the cradle to the grave, without a dream to stir 
the deadness of its torpor." 

" And yet, Aram," said Lester, " the lords of science have their 
ills. Exalt the soul as you will, you cannot raise it above pain. 
Better, perhaps, to let it sleep, since in waking it looks only upon 
a world of trial." 

"You say well, you say well," said Aram, smiting his heart; 
" and I suffered a foolish sentiment to carry me beyond the sober 
boundaries of our daily sense." 



CHAPTER IV 

MILITARY PREPARATIONS.— THE COMMANDER AND HIS MEN.— ARAM 
IS PERSUADED TO PASS THE NIOHT AT THE MANOB-HorSB. 



Falstaff. Bid my lieutenant Peto meet me at the town's end. * • « • 
pressed me none but such toasts and butter, with hearts in their bellies no b.g 
tnan pins' heads. — First Part of King Henry IV. 



Tiiet had 'scarcely reached the manor-house before the rain, 
which the clouds had portended throughout the whole day, began 
to descend in torrents, and, to use the strong expression of the 
Latin poet, the night rushed down, black and sudden, over the 
face of the earth. 

The new watch were not by any means the hardy and experienced 
■soldiery by whom rain and darkness are unheeded. They looked 
with great dismay upon the character of the night in which their 
campaign was to commence. The valorous Peter, who had sus- 
tained his own courage by repeated applications to a little bottle, 
which he never failed to carry about him in all the more bustling 



KUG£tfE AiUM. 141 

and enterprising occasions of life, endeavoured, but with partial 
success, to maintain the ardour of his band. Seated in the servants' 
hall of the manor-house, in a large arm-chair, Jacobina on his knee, 
and his trusty musket, which, to the great terror of the womankind, 
had never been uncocked all day, still grasped in his right hand, 
while the stock was grounded on the floor, he indulged in martial 
harangues, plentifully interlarded with plagiarisms from the wor- 
shipful translations of Messrs. Sternhold and Hopkins, and psalm- 
odio versions of a more doubtful authorship. And when at the 
hour of ten, which was the appointed time, he led his warlike 
force, which consisted of six rustios, armed with sticks of incredible 
thickness, three guns, one pistol, a broadsword, and a pitch-fork 
(the last a weapon likely to be more effectively used than all the rest 
put together) ;— when at the hour of ten he led them up to the room 
above, where they were to be passed in review before the critical 
eye of the squire, with Jacobina leading the on-guard, you could 
not fancy a prettier picture for a hero in a little way than mine 
host of the "Spotted Dog." 

His hat was fastened tight on his brows by a blue pocket-hand- 
kerchief; he wore a spencer of a light brown drugget, a world too 
loose, above a leather jerkin ; his breeches of corduroy were met all 
of a sudden, half way up the thigh, by a detachment of Hessians, 
formerly in the service of the corporal, and bought some time since 
by Peter Dealtry to wear when employed in shooting snipes for the 
squire, to whom he occasionally performed the oflice of gamekeeper ; 
suspended round his wrist by a bit of black riband was his con- 
stable's baton : he shouldered his musket gallantly^ and he carried 
his person as erect as if the least deflection from its perpendicu- 
larity were to cost him his life. One may judge of the revolution 
that nad taken place in the village, when so peaceable a man as 
Peter Dealtry was thus metamorphosed into a commander-in-chief ! 
The rest of the regiment hung sheepishly back, each trying to get 
as near to the door, and as far from the ladies as possible. But 
Peter having made up his mind that a hero should only look 
straight forward, did not condescend to turn round to perceive 
the irregularity of his line. Secure in his own existence, he 
stood truculently forth, facing the squire, and prepared to receive 
his plaudits. 

Madeline and Aram sat apart at one corner of the hearth, and 
Ellinor leaned over the chair of the former ; the mirth that she 
struggled to suppresu from being audible mantling over her arch 
face and laughing eyes ; while the squire, taking the pipe from his 
mouth, turned round on his easy-chair, and nodded complacently 
to the little corps and the great commander. 

" TVe are all ready now, your honour," said Peter, in a voice 
that did not seem to belong to his body, so big did it sound, — " all 
hot, all eager." 

" Why you yourself are a host, Peter," said Ellinor, with affected 
gravity ; your sight alone would frighten an army of robbers : 
who could have thought you could assume so military an air ? The 
corporal himself was never so upright • '■ 



142 KL'GJi^E A.KAM. 

" i have practised my present ^attitude all the day, miss," said 
Peter, proudly : " and I believe I may now say as Mr. Stemhold 
eays or sings, in the twenty-sixth Psalm, verse twelfth,— 

' My foot is stayed for all essays, 
It standeth well and right ; 
Wherefore to God will I give praise 
In all the people's sight ! ' 

Jacobina, behave yourself, child. I don't think, your honour, that 
we miss the corporal so much as I fancied at first, for we all does 
very well without him." 

" Indeed, you are a most worthy substitute, Peter. And now, 
Nell, just reach me my hat and cloak : I will set you at your posts : 
you will have an ugly night of it." 

" Very, indeed, your honour," cried all the army, speaking for 
the first time. 

"Silence — order — discipline," said Peter, gruffly. "March!" 

But, instead of marching across the hall, the recruits huddled up 
one after the other, like a flock of geese, whom Jacobina might 
be supposed to have set in motion, and each scraping to the 
ladies, as they shuffled, sneaked, bundled, and bustled out at the 
door. 

" We are well guarded now, Madeline," said Ellinor. " I faney 
we may go to sleep as safely as if there were not a housebreaker in 
the world." 

" Why," said Madeline, " let us trust they will be more efficient 
than they seem, though I cannot persuade myself that we shall 
really need them. One might almost as well conceive a tiger in 
our arbour, as a robber in Grassdale. But dear, dear Eugene, do 
not — do not leave us this night : Walter's room is ready for you, 
and if it were only to walk across that valley in such weather, it 
would be cruel to leave us. Let me beseech you ; come, you cannot, 
you dare not, refuse me such a favour." 

Aram pleaded his vow, but it was over-ruled ; Madeline proved 
herself a most exquisite casuist in setting it aside. One by one 
his objections were broken down ; and how, as he gazed into those 
eyes, could he keep any resolution that Madeline wished him to 
break ? The power she possessed over him seemed exactly in pro- 
portion to his impregnability to every one else. The surface on 
which the diamond cuts its easy way will yield to no more ignoble 
instrument ; it is easy to shatter it, but by only one pure and 
precious gem can it be shaped. But if Aram remained at the house 
this night, how could he well avoid a similar compliance the next ? 
And on the next was his interview with Houseman. This reason 
for resistance yielded to Madeline's soft entreaties ; he trusted to 
the time to furnish him with excuses ; and when Lester returned, 
Madeline, with a triumphant air, informed him that Aram had con- 
sented to be their guest for the night. 

" Your influence is, indeed, greater than mine," said Lester, 
wringing his hat as the delicate fingers of Ellinor loosened his 
oloak ; " j et one can scarcely think our friend sacrifices much in 



EUGENE ARAM. U3 

•oncession, after proving the weather without. I should pity our 
|ioor patrol most exceedingly, if I were not thoroughly assured 
that within two hours every one of them will have quietly slunk 
home ; and even Peter himself, when he has exhausted his bottle, 
will be the first to set the example. However, I have stationed 
two of the men near our house, and the rest at equal distances along 
the village." 

" Do you really think they will go home, sir }" said Ellinor, in a 
little alarm ; " why, they would be worse than I thought them, if 
they were driven to bed by the rain. I knew they could not stand 
a pistol, but a shower, however hard, I did imagine would 
scarcely quench their valour." 

" Never mind, girl," said Lester, gaily chucking her under the 
chin, " we are quite strong enough now to resist them. You see 
Madeline has grown as brave as a lioness. — Come, girls, come, 
let's have supper, and stir up the lire. And Nell, where are my 
slippers i" 

And thus on the little family scene — the cheerful wood fire flicker- 
ing against the polished wainsoot ; the supper-table arranged, the 
squire drawing his oak chair towards it, Ellinor mixing his negus ; 
and Aram ana Madeline, though three times summoned to the table, 
and having three times answered to the summons, still lingering 
apart by the hearth — let us drop the curtain. 

We have only, ere we close our chapter, to observe, that when 
Lester conducted Aram to his chamber he placed in his hands an 
order, payable at the county town, for three hundred pounds 
" The rest," he said in a whisper, " is below, where I mentioned ; 
and there, in my secret drawer, it had better rest till the 
morning." 

The good squire then, putting his finger to his lip; hurried away, 
to avoid the thanks ; which, indeed, whatever gratitude he mient 
feel, Aram was ill able to express. 



CHAPTER V. 

TBR 6I8TEB8 ALONE.— THE GOSSIP OP LOVE.— AN ALARM, AND AS 

EVENT. 



Juliet. My true love is grown to such excess, 
I cannot sum up half my sum of wealth. — Homeo and Jviiit. 

Ems. Oh, a man in arms ; 
His weapou drawn too ! — The FaUe One. 



It was a custom with the two sisters, when they repaired to their 
chamber for the night, to sit conversing, sometimes even for hours, 
before they finally retired to bed. Ihis, indeed, was the usual 
time for their little confidences, and their mutual dilations over 



!t4 EUGENE AiiAM. 

those hopes and plans for the future, which always occupy tha 
larger share of the thoughts and conversation of the young. I do- 
not know anything in the world more lovely than such conferences 
between two beings who have no secrets to relate but what arise, 
all fresh, from the springs of a guiltless heart, — those pure and 
beautiful mysteries of an unsullied nature which warm us to hear - r 
and we think with a sort of wonder when we feel how arid expe- 
rience has made ourselves, that so much of the dew and sparkle of 
existence still linger in the nooks and valleys, which are as yet 
virgin of the sun and of mankind. 

The sisters this night were more than commonly indifferent to 
sleep. Madeline sat by the small but bright hearth of the chamber, 
in her night-dress, and Ellinor, who was much prouder of her 
sister's beauty than her own, was employed in knotting up the 
long and lustrous hair which fell in rich luxuriance over Madeline's 
throat and shoulders. 

" There certainly never was such beautiful hair ! " said Ellinor, 
admiringly. "And, let me see, — yes, — on Thursday fortnight I 
may be dressing it, perhaps, for the last time — heigho ! " 

" Don't flatter yourself that you are so near the end of your 
troublesome duties, ' said Madeline, with her pretty smile, which 
had been much brighter and more frequent of late than it was 
formerly wont to be ; so that Lester had remarked, " That 
Madeline really appeared to have become the lighter and gayer of 
the two." 

" You will often come to stay with us for weeks together, at 
least till — till you have a double right to be mistress here. Ah ! 
my poor hair — you need not pull it so hard." 

" Be quiet, then," said Ellinor, half laughing, and wholly 
blushing. 

" Trust me, I have not been in love myself without learning its 
signs ; and I venture to prophesy that within six months you will 
come to consult me whether or not — for there is a great deal to be 
said on both sides of the question — you can make up your mind to 
sacrifice your own wishes and marry "Walter Lester. Ah ! — gently, 
gently! Nell " 

" Promise to be quiet." 

" I will — I will ; but you began it." 

As Ellinor now finished her task, and kissed her sister's forehead, 
she sighed deeply. 

" Happy Walter ! " said Madeline. 

" I was not sighing for Walter, but for you." 

" For me ? — impossible ! I cannot imagine any part of my 
future life that can cost you a sigh. Ah ! that I were more worthy 
of my happiness ! " 

" Well, then," said Ellinor, " I sighed for myself ;— I sighed to 
think we should so soon be parted, and that the continuance of 
your society would then depend, not on our mutual love, but on 
the will of another." 

" What, Ellinor, and can you suppose that Eugene, — my Eugene, 
— would not welcome you as warmly as myself? Ah! you mis- 



i 



EUGENE AEAM. 1*0 

udge him ; I know you have not yet perceived how tender a heart 
ies beneath all that melanoholy and reserve." 

" 1 feel, indeed," Baid Ellinor, warmly, " as if it were impossible 
that one whom you love should not be all that is good and noble : 
yet if this reserve of his should increase, as is at least possible, 
with increasing years : if our society should become again, as it 
once was, distasteful to him, should I not lose you, Madeline ? " 

" But his reserve cannot increase : do you not perceive how 
much it is softened already ? Ah ! be assured that I will charm it 
awav." 

•* l'ut what is the cause of the melancholy that even now, at 
times, evidently preys upon him ? Has he never revealed it to 
you r " 

" It is merely the early and long habit of solitude and study, 
Ellinor," replied Madeline : " and shall I own to you, I would 
scarcely wish that away ? His tenderness itself seems linked with 
his melancholy : it is like a sad but gentle music, that brings tears 
into our eyes, Dut who would change it for gayer airs ? " 

" Well, I must own," said Ellinor, reluctantly, " that I no 
longer wonder at your infatuation ; I can no longer chide you as I 
once did: there is, assuredly, something in his voice, his look, 
which irresistibly sinks into the heart. And there are moments 
when, what with his eyes and forehead, his countenance seems 
more beautiful, more impressive, than any I ever beheld. Perhaps, 
too, for you. it is better that your lover snould be no longer in the 
first flush of youth. Your nature seems to require something to 
venerate as well as to love ; And I have ever observed at prayers, 
that you seem more especially rapt and carried beyond yourself, 
in those passages which call peculiarly for worship and adoration." 

" Yes, dearest," said Madeline, fervently. " I own that Eugene 
is of all beings, not only of all whom I ever knew but of whom I 
ever dreamed, or imagined, the one that I am most fitted to love 
and to appreciate. His wisdom, but, more than that, the lofty 
tenor of his mind, call forth all that is highest and best in my own 
nature. I feel exalted when I listen to him ; — and yet, how gentle, 
with all that nobleness ! And to think that he should descend 
to love me, and so to love me ! It is as if a star were to leave its 
sphere ! " 

" Hark ! one o'clock," said Ellinor, as the deep voice of the clook 
told the first hour of morning. " Heavens ! how much louder the 
winds rave ! And how the heavy sleet drives against the window ! 
Our poor watch without ! — but you may be sure my father was right, 
and they are safe at home by this time ; nor is it likelv, I should 
think, that even robbers would be abroad in such weather ! " 

" I have heard," said Madeline, " that robbers generally choose 
these dark stormy nights for their designs ; but I confess I don't 
feel much alarm ; and he is in the house. Draw nearer to the fire, 
Ellinor ; is it not pleasant to see how serenely it burns, while the 
storm howls without ? It is like my Eugene's soul, luminous and 
lone amidst the roar and darkness of this unquiet world ! " 

"There spake himself," said Ellinor, smiling to perceive how 



H8 EUULSli A.H4M. 

invariably women who love, imitate the tone of the beloved on«. 
And Madeline felt it, and smiled too. 

"Hist!" said Ellinor, abruptly; "did you not hear a low, 
grating noise below ? Ah ! the winds now prevent your catching 
the sound ; but hush, hush ! — the wind pauses, — there it is again !" 

" Yes, I hear it," said Madeline, turning pale ; " it seems in the 
little parlour ; a continued, harsh, but very low, noise. Good 
heavens ! it seems at the window below." 

" It is like a file," whispered Ellinor ; " perhaps " 

" You are right," said Madeline, suddenly rising ; " it is a file, 
and at the bars my father had fixed against the window yesterday. 
Let us go down and alarm the house." 

"No, no; for Heaven's sake, don't be so rash," cried Ellinor, 
losing all presence of mind : " hark ! the sound ceases, there is a 
louder noise below, — and steps. Let us lock the door." 

But Madeline was of that fine and high order of spirit, which 
rises in proportion to danger, and calming her sister as well as she 
could, she seized the light with a steady hand, opened the door, 
and (Ellinor still clinging to her), passed the landing-place, and 
hastened to her father's room : he slept at the opposite corner 
of the staircase. Aram's chamber was at the extreme end of the 
house. Before she reached the door of Lester's apartment, the 
noise below grew loud and distinct — a scuffle — voices — curses — and 
now the sound of a pistol ! — in a minute more the whole house 
was stirring. Lester in his night robe, his broadsword in his 
hand, and his long grey hair floating behind, was the first to 
appear : the servants, old and young, male and female, now came 
thronging simultaneously round; and in a general body, Lester 
several paces at their head, his daughters following next to him, 
they rushed to the apartment whence the noise, now suddenly 
stilled, had proceeded. 

The window was opened, evidently by force : an instrument like 
a wedge was fixed in the bureau containing Lester's money, and 
seemed to have been left there, as if the person using it had been 
disturbed before the design for which it was introduced had been 
accomplished, and (the only evidence of life) Aram stood, dressed, 
in the centre of the room, a pistol in his left hand, a sword in his 
right ; a bludgeon severed in two lay at his feet, and on the floor 
within two yards of him, towards the window, drops of blood yet 
warm, showed that the pistol had not been discharged in vain. 

" And is it you, my brave friend, whom I have to thank for our 
safetv ? " cried Lester, in great emotion. 

" You, Eugene ! " repeated Madeline, sinking on his breast. 

"But thanks hereafter," continued Lester; "let us now to the 
pursuit, — perhaps the villain may have perished beneath your 
bullet?" 

" Ha ! ' muttered Aram, who had hitherto seemed unconscious 

~f all around him ; so fixed had been his eye, so colourless his 

heek, so motionless his posture. "Ha ! say you so? — think you 

.have slain him ? — No, it cannot be — the ball did not slay ; I saw 

im stagger ; but he rallied — not so one w^o receives a mortal 



EUIJRNK A HAM I*.' 

wound ?— Ha, ha ! — there is blond, you say : that is true ; but what 
then ? — it is not the first wound that kills ; you must strike again. 
— Pooh, pooh ? what is a little blood ? " 

"While he was thus muttering, Lester and the more active of the 
servants had already sallied through the window ; but the night 
was so intensely dark that they could not see a step beyond them. 
Lester returned, therefore, in a few moments, and met Aram's 
dark eye fixed upon him with an unutterable expression of anxiety. 

" You have found no one ? " said he, " no dying man ? — Ha ! — 
well — well — well ! they must both have escaped : the night must 
favour them." 

" Do you fancy the villain was severely wounded ? " 

" Xot so — I trust not so ; he seemed able to But stop — oh 

God ! stop ! your foot is dabbling in blood — blood shed by me, — off! 
off!" 

Lester moved aside with a quick abhorrence, as he saw that hia 
feet were indeed smearing the blood over the polished and slippery- 
surface of the oak boards, and in moving he stumbled against a 
dark lantern in which the light still burned, and which the robbers 
in their flight had left. 

"Yes," said Aram, observing it, "it was by that, their own 
light, that I saw them — saw their faces — and — and [bursting into 
aloud, wild laugh] they were both strangers !" 

" Ah, I thought so, I knew so," said Lester, plucking the instru- 
ment from the bureau. " I knew they could be no Grassdale men. 
What did you fancy they could be ? But— bless me, Madeline — 
what ho ! help ! — Aram, she has fainted at your feet ! " 

And it was indeed true and remarkable that so utter had been 
the absorption of Aram's mind, that he had been not only insensible 
to the entrance of Madeline, but even unconscious that she had 
thrown herself on his breast. And she, overcome by her feelings, 
had slid to the ground from that momentary resting-place, in a 
s>woon which Lester, in the general tumult and confusion, was now 
the first to perceive. 

At this exclamation, at the sound of Madeline's name, the blood 
rushed back from Aranfs heart, where it had gathered, icy and curd- 
ling : and, awakened thoroughly and at once to himself, he knelt 
down, and weaving his arms around her, supported her head on 
his breast, and called upon her with the most passionate and 
moving exclamations. 

But when the faint bloom retinged her cheek, and her lips stirred, 
he printed a long kiss on that cheek — on those lips, and surren- 
dered his post to Ellinor ; who, blushingly gathering the robe over 
the beautiful breast from which it had been slightly drawn, now 
entreated all, save the women of the house, to withdraw till her 
sister was restored. 

Lester, eager to hear what his guest could relate, therefore 
took Aram to his own apartment, where the particulars were 
briefly told. 

Suspecting, which indeed was the chief reason that excused hrni 
to himself in yielding to Madeline's request, that the men Lester 

I 2 



K8 EUGENE AHAM. 

and himself had encountered in their evening walk might be other 
than they seemed, and that they might have well overheard Lester's 
communication as to the sum in his house, and the place where it 
was stored, he had not undjessed himself, but kept the door of his 
room open to listen if anything stirred. The keen sense of hearing, 
which we have before remarked him to possess, enabled him to 
catch the sound of the file at the bars, even before Ellinor, notwith- 
standing the distance of his own chamber from the place, and 
seizing the sword which had been left in his room (the pistol was 
his own), he had descended to the room below. 

" What ! " said Lester, " and without a light ? " 

" The darkness is familiar to me," said Aram. " I could walk 
by the edge of a precipice in the darkest night without one false 
step, if I had but once passed it before. I did not gain the room, 
however, till the window had been forced ; and by the light of a 
dark lantern which one of them held, I perceived two men standing 
by the bureau — the rest you can imagine ; my victory was easy, 
for the bludgeon, which one of them aimed at me, gave way at once 
to the edge of your good sword, and my pistol delivered me of the 
other. — There ends the history." 

Lester overwhelmed him with thanks and praises, but Aram, 
glad to escape them, hurried away to see after Madeline, whom 
he now met on the landing-place, leaning on Ellinor's arm, and 
still pale. 

She gave him her hand, which he for one moment pressed 
passionately to his lips, but dropped the next, with an altered 
and chilled air. And nastily observing that he would not now 
detain her from a rest which she must so much require, he turned 
away and descended the stairs. Some of the servants were grouped 
around the place of encounter ; he entered the room, and apain 
started at the sight of the blood. 

'' Bring water," said he, fiercely : " will you let the stagnant 
gore ooze and rot into the boards, to startle the eye and still 
the heart with its filthy and unutterable stain ? Water, I say ! 
water!" 

They hurried to obey him, and Lester coming into the room to 
see the window reclosed by the help of boards, &c, found the 
student bending over the servants as they performed their re- 
luctant task, and rating them with a raised and harsh voice for 
the hastiness with which he accused them of seeking to slur 
it over- 



kuok:ik A!i.iM. HJ 



CHAPTER VI. 

AEiU ATONE AMONO THE MOUNTAINS.— HIS SOLILOQUY AND PRO- 
JECT.— SCENE BETWEEN HIMSELF AND MADELINE. 



Luce non grata fruor ; 
Trepidante semper corde, non mortis metu 
Sed* " — Seneca: " Octavia," Act I. 



The two men-servants of the house remained up the rest of the 
night : but it was not till the morning had advanced far beyond 
the usual time of rising in the fresh shades of Grassdale, that 
Madeline and Ellinor became visible ; even Lester left his bed an 
hour later than his wont ; and knocking at Aram's door, found the 
student was already abroad, while it was evident that his bed had 
not been pressed during the whole of the night. Lester descended 
into the garden, and was there met by Peter Dealtry and a 
detachment of the band ; who, as common sense and Lester had 
predicted, were indeed, at a very early period of the watch, driven 
to their respective homes. They were now seriously concerned for 
their unmanliness, which they passed off as well as they could 
upon their conviction " that nobody at Grassdale could ever really 
be robbed ;" and promised, with sincere contrition, that they 
would be most excellent guards for the future. Peter was, in 
sooth, singularly chop-fallen, and could only defend himself by an 
incoherent mutter ; from which the squire turned somewhat impa- 
tiently when he heard, louder than the rest, the words " seventy- 
seventh psalm, seventeenth verse, — 

" The clonds that were both thick and black, 
Did rain full plenteously." 

Leaving the squire to the edification of the pious host, 1st us 
follow the steps of Aram, who at the early dawn had quitted his 
sleepless chamber, and though the clouds at that time still poured 
down in a dull and heavy sleet, wandered away, whither he neither 
knew nor heeded. He was now hurrying, with unabated speed, 
though with no purposed bourne or object, over the chain of 
mountains that backed the green and lovely valleys among which 
his home was cast. 

" Yes ! " said he, at last halting abruptly, with a desperate reso- 
lution stamped on his countenance, " yes ! I will so determine. 
If, after this interview, 1 feel that I cannot command and bind 
Houseman's perpetual secrecy, I will surrender Madeline at once. 
She has loved me generously and trustingly. I will not link her 

* I live a life of wretchedness ; my heart perpetually trembling not through few 
Of death, but — — 



260 Kl'CiEXK ARAM. 

life with one that may be called hence in any hour, and to so dread 
an account. Neither shall the grey hairs of Lester be brought, 
with the sorrow of my shame, to a dishonoured and untimely 
grave. And after the outrage of last night, the daring outrage, 
how can I calculate on the safety of a day ? Though Houseman 
was not present, though I can scarce believe he knew, or at least 
abetted the attack, yet they were assuredly of _ his gang : had one 
been seized, the clue might have traced to his detection — were 
he detected, what should I have to dread ? No, Madeline ! no ; 
not while this sword hangs over me will I subject thee to share the 
horror of my fate ! " 

This resolution, which was certainly generous, and yet no more 
than honest, Aram had no sooner arrived at, than he dismissed, at 
once, by one of those efforts which powerful minds can command, 
all the weak and vacillating thoughts that might interfere with 
the sternness of his determination. He seemed to breathe more 
freely, and the haggard wanness of his brow relaxed at least from 
the workings that, but the moment before, distorted its wonted 
serenity with a maniac wildness. 

He now pursued his desultory way with a calmer step. 

" What a night ! " said he, again breaking into the low murmur 
in which he was accustomed to hold commune with himself. 
" Had Houseman been one of the ruffians, a shot might have freed 
me, and without a crime, for ever ; and till the light Hashed on 
their brows, I thought the smaller man bore his aspect. Ha ! out, 
•tempting thought ! out on thee ! " he cried aloud, and stamping 
with his foot; then recalled by his own vehemence, he cast a 
jealous and hurried glance round him, though at that moment his 
step was on the very height of the mountains, where not even the 
solitary shepherd, save in search of some more daring straggler of 
the flock, ever brushed the dew from the cragged, yet fragrant 
soil. " Yet," he said, in a lower voice, and again sinking into the 
sombre depths of his reverie, " it is a tempting, a wondrously 
tempting thought. And it struck athwart me like a hash of 
lightning when this hand was at his throat — a tighter strain, 
another moment, and Eugene Aram had not had an enemy, a 
witness against him left in the world. Ha ! are the dead no foes 
then ? are the dead no witnesses r " Here he relapsed into utter 
silence, but his gestures continued wild, and his eyes wandered 
round, with a bloodshot and unquiet glare. " Enough," at length 
he said calmly ; and with the manner of one tolio has rolled a 
stone from his heart ; * " Enough ! I will not so sully myself ; 
unless all other hope of self-preservation be extinct. And why 
despond ? the plan I have thought of seems well laid, wise, con- 
summate at alt points. Let me consider — forfeited the moment he 
re-enters England — not given till he has left it — paid periodically, 
and of such extent as to supply his wants, preserve him from crime, 
and forbid the possibility of extorting more : all this sounds well ; 
6ind if not feasible at last, why farewell Madeline, aui I myself 

• Eastern saying. 



KCfiENE AHAM. 



151 



leave this land for ever. Come what will to me — death in its vilest 
shape— let not the stroke fall on that breast. And if it be," he 
continued, his face lighting up, " if it be, as it may yet, that I can 
chain this hell-hound, why, even then, the instant that Madeline 
is mine I will fly these scenes; I will seek a yet obscurer and 
remoter corner of earth : I will choose another name — Fool ! why 
did I not so before ? But matters it ? _ "What is writ is writ. Who 
can struggle with the invisible and giant hand that launched the 
world itself into motion ; and at whose pre-decreewe hold the dark 
boons of life and death." 

It was not till evening that Aram, utterly worn out and exhausted, 
found himself in the neighbourhood of Lester's house. The sun 
had ODly broken forth at its setting, and it now glittered, from its 
western pyre, over the dripping hedges, and spread a brief but 
magic glow along the rich landscape around ; the changing woods 
clad in the thousand dies of autumn ; the scattered and peaceful 
cottages, with their long wreaths of smoke curling upward, and the 
grey and venerable walls of the manor-house, with the church hard 
by,"and the delicate spire, which, mixing itself with heaven, is at 
once the most touching and solemn emblem of the faith to which it 
is devoted. It was a Sabbath eve ; and from the spot on which 
Aram stood, he might discern many a rustic train trooping slowly 
up the green village lane towards the church ; and the deep bel* 
which summoned to the last service of the day now swung its voice 
far over the sunlit and tranquil scene. 

But it was not the setting sun, nor the autumnal landscape, nor 
the voice of the holy bell, that now arrested the step of Aram. At 
a little distance before him, leaning over a gate, and seemingly 
waiting till the ceasing of the bell should announce the time to 
enter the sacred mansion, he beheld the figure of Madeline Lester. 
Her head, at the moment, was averted from him, as if she were 
looking after Ellinor and her uncle, who were in the churchyard 
among a little group of their homely neighbours; and he was 
half in doubt whether to shun her presence, when she suddenly 
turned round, and, seeing him, uttered an exclamation of joy. It 
was now too late for avoidance ; and calling to his aid that mastery 
over his features which, in ordinary times, few more eminently 
possessed, he approached his beautiful mistress with a smile as 
serene, if not as glowing as her own. But she had already opened 
the gate, and bounding forward, met him halfway. 

" Ah, truant, truant," said she ; " the whole day absent, with- 
out inquiry or farewell ! After this, when shall I believe that thou 
really iovest me r " 

" But," continued Madeline, gazing on his countenance, which 
bore witness, in its present languor, to the fierce emotions which 
had lately raged within, " but, heavens ! dearest, how pale you 
look; you are fatigued ; give me your hand, Eugene, — it is parched 
and dry. Come into the house ; — you must need rest and refresh- 
ment." 

" i am better here, my Madeline, — the air and the sun revive 



152 EUGENE ARA3I. 

me : let as rest by the stile yonder. But you were going to 
church, and the bell has ceased." 

" I could attend, I fear, little to the prayers now," said Madeline, 
" unless you feel well enough, and will come to church with me." 

"To church!" said Aram, with a half shudder. "No; my 
thoughts are in no mood for prayer." 

" Then you shall give your thoughts to me, and I, in return will 
pray for you before I rest." 

And so saying, Madeline, with her usual innocent frankness of 
manner, wound her arm in his, and they walked onward towards 
the stile Aram had pointed out. It was a little rustic stile, with 
chestnut- trees hanging over it on either side. It stands to this day, 
and I have pleased myself with finding "Walter Lester's initials, 
and Madeline's also, with the date of the year, carved in half- worn 
letters on the wood, probably by the hand of the former. 

They now rested at this spot. All around them was still and 
solitary ; the groups of peasants had entered the church, and 
nothing of life, save the cattle grazing in the distant fields, or the 
thrush starting from the wet bushes, was visible. The winds were 
lulled to rest, and, though somewhat of the chill of autumn floated 
on the air, it only bore a balm to the harassed brow and fevered 
veins of the student ; and Madeline ! — she felt nothing but his 
presence. It was exactly what we picture to ourselves of a Sab- 
bath eve, unutterably serene and soft, and borrowing from the 
very melancholy of the declining year an impressive yet a mild 
solemnity. 

There are seasons, often in the most dark or turbulent periods 
of our life, when (why, we know not) we are suddenly called from 
ourselves, by the remembrances of early childhood : something 
touches the electric chain, and lo ! a host of shadowy and sweet 
recollections steal upon us. The wheel rests, the oar is suspended, 
we are snatched from the labour and travail of present life ; we are 
born again, and live anew. As the secret page in which the cha- 
racters once written seem for ever effaced, but which, if breathed 
upon, gives them again into view ; so the memory can revive the 
images invisible for years : but while we gaze, the breath recedes 
from the surface, and all, one moment so v?vid, with the next 
moment has become once more a blank ! 

" It is singular," said Aram, " but often as 1 have paused at this 
spot, and gazed upon this landscape, a likeness to the scenes of my 
childish life, which it now seems to me to present, never occurred 
to me before. Yes, yonder, in that cottage, with the sycamores in 
front, and the orchard extending behind, till its boundary, as we 
now stand, seems lost among the woodland, I could fancy that I 
looked upon my father's home. The clump of trees that lies yonder 
to the right could cheat me readily to the belief that I saw the 
little grove, in which, enamoured with the first passion of study, I 
was wont to pore over the thrice-read book through the long sum- 
mer days ; — a boy — a thougktful boy ; yet, oh, how happy ! What 
worlds appeared then to me to open in every page ! how exhaustless 
I thought the treasures and the hopes of life ! and beautiful on the 



hdGENB AivAal. 153- 

mountain tops seemed to me the slops of knowledge ! I did not 
dream of all that the musing and lonely passion that I nursed waa- 
to entail upon me. There, in the clefts of the valley, on the ridges 
of the hill, or by the fragrant course of the stream, I began already 
to win its history from the herb or flower ; I saw nothing that I 
did not long to unravel its secrets ; all that the earth nourished 
ministered to one desire : — and what of low or sordid did there 
mingle with that desire ? The petty avarice, the mean ambition, 
the debasing love, even the heat, the anger, the fickleness, the 
caprice of other men, did they allure or bow down my nature from 
its steep and solitary eyrie ? I lived but to feed my mind ; wisdom 
was my thirst, my dream, my aliment, my sole fount and suste- 
nance of life. And have I not sown the wind and reaped the whirl- 
wind ? The glory of my youth is gone, my veins are chilled, my 
frame is bowed, my heart is gnawed with cares, my nerves are 
unstrung as a loosened bow : and what, after all, is my gain ? Oh, 
God ! what is my gain ?" 

" Eugene, dear, dear Eugene ! " murmured Madeline, soothingly, 
and wrestling with her tears, "is not your gain great? is it not 
triumph that you stand, while yet young, almost alone in the 
world, for success in all that you have attempted i" 

" And what," exclaimed Aram, breaking in upon her, " what is 
this world which we ransack but a stupendous charnel-house '- 
Everything that we deem most lovely, ask its origin? — Decay! 
When we riHe nature, and collect wisdom, are we not like the hags 
of old, culling simples from the rank grave, and extracting sorceries 
from the rotting bones of the dead ? Everything around us is 
fathered by corruption, battened by corruption, and into corruption 
returns at last. Corruption is at once the womb and grave of 
Mature, and the very beauty on which we gaze, — the cloud, and 
the tree, and the swarming waters, — all are one vast panorama of 
death ! But it did not always seem to me thus ; and even now I 
speak with a heated pulse and a dizzy brain. Come, Madeline, let 
us change the theme." 

And dismissing at once from his language, and perhaps, as he 
proceeded, also from his mind, all of its former gloom, except such 
as might shade, but not embitter, the natural tenderness of remem- 
brance, Aram now related, with that vividness of diction, which, 
though we feel we can very inadequately convey its effect, charac- 
terised his conversation, and gave something of poetic interest to 
all he uttered, those reminiscences which belong to childhood, and 
which all of us take delight to hear from the lips of one we love. 

It was while on this theme that the lights which the deepening 
twilight had now made necessary became visible in the church, 
streaming afar through its large oriel window, and brightening the 
dark firs that overshadowed the graves around : and just at that 
moment the organ (a gift from a rich rector, and the boast of the 
neighbouring country) stole upon the silence with its swelling and. 
solemn note. There was something in the strain of this sudden musio 
that was so kindred with the holy repose of the scene, — chimed s<> 
exactly to the chord now vibrating in Aram s mind, that it struck 



Jfj-l KUGENE ARAM. 

upon him at once with an irresistible power. He paused abruptly 
" as if an angel spoke ! " That sound, so peculiarly adapted to express 
sacred and unearthly emotion, none who nave ever mourned or sinned 
can hear, at an unlooked-for moment, without a certain sentiment 
that either subdues, or elevates, or awes. But he,— he was a boy once 
more ! — he was again in the village church of his native place : his 
father, with his silver hair, stood again beside him ; there was his 
mother, pointing to him the holy verse ; there the half-arch, half- 
xeverent face of his little sister (she died young!), — there the 
upward eye and hushed countenance of the preacher who had first 
raised his mind to knowledge, and supplied its food, — all, all lived, 
moved, breathed again before him, all, as when he was young and 
guiltless, and at peace ; hope and the future one word ! 

He bowed his head lower and lower ; the hardness and hypocrisies 
of pride, the sense of danger and of horror, that, in agitating, still 
supported, the mind of this resolute and scheming man, at once 
forsook him. Madeline felt his tears drop fast and burning on her 
hand, and the next moment, overcome by the relief it afforded to a 
heart preyed upon by fiery and dread secrets, which it could not 
reveal, and a frame exhausted by the long and extreme tension of 
all its powers, he laid his head upon that faithful bosom, and wept 
aloud. 



CHAPTER VII. 

ARAM'S SECRET EXPEDITION. — A SCENE WORTHY THE ACTORS.— 
ARAM'S ADDRESS AND POWERS OF PERSUASION OR HYPOCRISY — 
THEIR RESULT. — A FEARFUL NIGHT.— ARAM'S SOLITARY RIDE 
HOMEWARD. —WHOM HE MEETS BY THE WAY, AND WHAT HE 

SEES. 



Macbeth, Now o'er the one half world 
Nature seems dead. 

* * * it 

Dvnalbnin. Our separated fortune 

Shall keep us both the safer 

* * * * 

Old Man, Hours dreadful, and things strange. — Macbeth. 



"And you must really go to ■ — -, to pay your importunate 
f.'it.'ditor this very evening? Sunday is a bad day for such matters : 
in.t as you pay him by an order, it does not much signify; and I 
c:i n well understand your impatience to feel relieved from the debt, 
lint it is already late ; and if it must be so, you had better start." 

"True," said Aram, to the above remark of Lester's, as the two 
*tood together without the door ; " but do you feel quite secure and 
guarded against any renewed attack ? " 

" Why, rudess they bring a regiment, yes ! I have put a body of 
i&ur patrol on a service where they can scarce be inefficient, viz., I 



fC(;i:\K .tun 155 

have stationed them in the house instead of without ; and I shall 
myself bear them company through the greater part of the night ; 

to-morrow I shall remove all that I possess of value to (the 

county town), including those unlucky guineas, which you will not 
ease me of." 

" The order you have kindly given me will amply satisfy my 
purpose," answered Aram. " And so there has been no clue to 
these robberies discovered throughout the day ? " 

" Xone : to-morrow, the magistrates are to meet at , and con- 
cert measures : it is absolutely impossible but that we should detect 
the villains in a few days, viz. if they remain in these parts. ] 
hope to heaven you will not meet them this evening." 

"I shall go well armed," answered Aram, " and the horse you 
lend me is fleet and strong. And now farewell for the present. [ 
shall probably not return to Grassdale this night, or if I do, it will 
be at so late an hour, that I shall seek my own domicile without 
disturbing you." 

" !Xo, no ; you had better remain in the town, and not return 
till morning," said the squire. " And now let us come to the 
stables." 

To obviate all chance of suspicion as to the real place of his des- 
tination, Aram deliberately rode to the town lie had mentioned, as 
the one in which his pretended creditor expected him. He put up 
at an inn, walked forth as if to visit some one in the town, returned, 
remounted, and by a circuitous route came into the neighbourhood 
of the place in which he was to meet Houseman ; then turning 
into a long and dense chain of wood, he fastened his horse to a 
tree, and looking to the priming of his pistols, which he carried 
under his riding-cloak, proceeded to the spot on foot. 

The night was still, and not wholly dark ; for the clouds lav 
scattered though dense, and suffered many stars to gleam through 
the heavy air ; the moon herself was abroad, but on her decline, 
and looked forth with a wan and saddened aspect, as she travelled 
from cloud to cloud. It has been the necessary course of our nar- 
rative, to portray Aram more often in his weaker moments than, 
to give an exact notion of his character, we could have altogether 
wished ; but whenever he stood in the actual presence of danger, 
his whole soul was in arms to cope with it worthily : courage, 
sagacity, even cunning, all awakened to the encounter ; and the 
mind which his life had so austerely cultivated repaid him in the 
urgent season with its acute address and unswerving hardihood. 
The Devil's Crag, as it was popularly called, was a spot conse- 
crated by many a wild tradition, which would not, perhaps, be 
wholly out of character with the dark thread of this tale, did 
the rapidity of our narrative allow us to relate them. 

The same stream which lent so soft an attraction to the valleys 
of Grassdale here assumed a different character; broad, black, 
and rushing, it whirled along a course, overhung by shagged 
and abrupt banks. On the opposite side to that by which Aram now 
purened his path, an almost perpendicular mountain was covered 
-with gigantic pine and tir, that might have reminded a German 



150 EUGENE A-KAM. 

wanderer of the darkest recesses of the Hartz, and seemed, indeed, 
no unworthy haunt for the weird huntsman or the forest fiend. 
Over this wood the moon now shimmered, with the pale and feeble 
light we have already described ; and only threw into a more 
sombre shade the motionless and gloomy foliage. Of all the 
offspring of the forest, the fir bears, perhaps, the most saddening 
and desolate aspect. Its long branches, without absolute leaf or 
blossom ; its dead, dark, eternal hue, which the winter seems to 
wither not, nor the spring to revive, have I know not what of a 
mystic and unnatural life. Around all woodland, there is that 
horror umbrarum * which becomes more solemn and awful amidst 
the silence and depth of night ; but this is yet more especially the 
characteristic of that sullen evergreen. Perhaps, too, this effect 
is increased by the sterile and dreary soil on which, when in 
groves, it is generally found ; and its very hardness, the very per- 
tinacity with which it draws its strange unfluctuating life from 
the sternest wastes and most reluctant strata, enhance, uncon- 
sciously, the unwelcome effect it is calculated to create upon the 
mind. At this place, too, the waters that dashed beneath gave 
yet additional wildness to the rank verdure of the wood, and 
contributed, by their rushing darkness partially broken by the 
stars, and the hoarse roar of their chafed course, a yet more grim 
and savage sublimity to the scene. 

"Winding a narrow path (for the whole country was as familiar as a 
garden to his footstep) , that led through the tall, wet herbage, almost 
along the perilous brink of the stream, Aram was now aware, by 
the increased and deafening sound of the waters, that the appointed 
spot was nearly gained ; and presently the glimmering and im- 
perfect light of the skies revealed the dim shape of a gigantic 
rock, that rose abruptly from the middle of the stream ; and 
which, rude, barren, vast, as it really was, seemed now, by the 
uncertainty of night, like some monstrous and deformed creature 
of the waters suddenly emerging from their vexed and dreary 
depths. This was the far-famed Crag, which had borrowed from 
tradition its evil and ominous name. And now, the stream, bend- 
ing round with a broad and sudden swoop, showed at a little dis- 
tance, ghostly and indistinct through the darkness, the mighty 
"Waterfall, whose roar had been his guide. Only in one streak 
a-down the giant cataract the stars were reflected ; and this long 
train of broken light glittered preternaturally forth through the 
rugged crags and sombre verdure that wrapped either side of the 
waterfall in utter and rayless gloom. 

Nothing could exceed the forlorn and terrific grandeur of the 
spot ; the roar of the waters supplied to the ear what the night 
forbade to the eye. Incessant and eternal they thundered down 
into the gulf ; and then shooting over that fearful basin, and 
forming another, but a mimic fall, dashed on till they were opposed 
by the sullen and abrupt crag below ; and besieging its base with 
a renewed roar, sent their foamy and angry spray half-way up the 
boar ascent. 

« Shadowy horror. 



EUGENE AEAM. 157 

At this stem and dreary spot, well suited for such conferences 
as Aram and Houseman alone could hold ; and which, whatever 
was the original secret that linked the two men thus strangely, 
seemed of necessity to partake of a desperate and lawless character, 
with danger for its main topic, and death itself for its colouring, 
Aram now paused, and with an eye accustomed to the darkness, 
looked around for his companion. 

He did not wait long : from the profound shadow that girded 
the space immediately around the fall, Houseman emerged and 
joined the student. The stunning noise of the cataract in the 
place where they met, forbade any attempt to converse ; and they 
walked on by the course of the stream, to gain a spot less in reach 
of the deafening shout of the mountain giant as he rushed with his 
banded waters upon the valley like a foe. 

It was noticeable that as they proceeded, Aram walked on with 
an unsuspicious and careless demeanour ; but Houseman pointing 
out the way with his hand, not leading it, kept a little behind 
Aram, and watched his motions with a vigilant and wary eye. 
The student, who had diverged from the path at Houseman's 
direction, now paused at a place where the matted bushes seemed 
to forbid any farther progress ; and said, for the first time breaking 
the silence, ""We cannot proceed; shall this be the place of our 
conference r " 

"Iso," said Houseman, "we had better pierce the bushes. I 
know the way, but will not lead it." 

" And wherefore ? " 

" The mark of your gripe is still on my throat," replied House- 
man, significantly: " you know as well as I, that it is not always 
safe to have a friend lagging behind." 

" Let us rest here, then," said Aram, calmly, the darkness 
veiling any alteration of his countenance, which his comrade's 
suspicion might have created. 

" Yet it were much better," said Houseman, doubtingly, " could 
we gain the cave below." 

" The cave ! " said Aram, starting, as if the word had a sound 
of fear. 

" Ay, ay : but not St. Robert's," said Houseman ; and the grin 
of his teeth was visible through the dulness of the shade. " But 
come, give me your hand, and I will venture to conduct you 
through the thicket : — that is your left hand," observed House- 
man, with a sharp and angry suspicion in his tone ; " give me 
the right." 

" As you will," said Aram, in a subdued, yet meaning voice, 
that seemed to come from his heart ; and thrilled, for an instant, 
to the bones of him who heard it ; " as you will, but for fourteen 
years I have not given this right hand, in pledge of fellowship, 
to living man ; you alone deserve the courtesy — there ! " 

Houseman hesitated before he took the hand now extended to 
him. 

" Pshaw ! " said he, as if indignant at himself; " what scruples 
at a shadow ! Come [grasping the hand], that's well — so, so ; now 



158 EUQEXE AKAM. 

we are in the thicket — tread firm — tins way — hold," continued 
Houseman, under his breath, as suspicion anew seemed to cros» 
him ; " hold ! we can see each other's face not even dimly now s 
hut in this hand, — my right is free, — I have a knife that has done 
good service ere this ; and if I do but suspect that you are about 
to play me false, I bury it in your heart. Do you heed me ?" " 

" Fool !" said Aram", scornfully, "I should dread you dead yet 
more than living." 

Houseman made no answer ; but continued to grope on through 
the path in the thicket, which he evidently knew well ; though 
even in daylight, so thick were the trees, and so artfully had their 
boughs been left to cover the tract, no path could have been dis- 
covered by one unacquainted with the clue. 

They had now walked on for some minutes, and of late their 
steps had been threading a rugged and somewhat precipitous 
descent : all this while, the pulse of the hand Houseman held, 
beat with as stedfast and calm a throb, as in the most quiet mood 
of learned meditation, although Aram could not but be conscious 
that a mere accident, a slip of the foot, an entanglement in the 
briars, might awaken the irritable fears of his ruffian comrade, 
and bring the knife to his breast. But this was not that form of 
death that could shake the nerves of Aram ; nor, though arming 
his whole soul to ward off one danger, was he well sensible of 
another, that might have seemed equally near and probable, to a 
less collected and energetic nature. Houseman now halted, again 
put aside the boughs, proceeded a few steps, and by a certain 
dampness and oppression in the air, Aram rightly conjectured 
himself in the cavern Houseman had spoken of. 

"We are landed now," said Houseman: "but wait, I will 
strike a light ; I do not love darkness, even with another sort of 
companion than the one I have now the honour to entertain ! " 

In a few moments a light was produced, and placed aloft on a 
crag in the cavern ; but the ray it gave was feeble and dull, and 
left all, beyond the immediate spot in which they stood, in a 
darkness little less Cimmerian than before. 

" 'Pore Gad, it is cold," said Houseman, shivering ; " but I have 
taken care, you see, to provide for a friend's comfort." So saying, 
he approached a bundle of dry sticks and leaves, piled at one 
corner of the cave, applied the light to the fuel, and presently the 
fire rose crackling, breaking into a thousand sparks, and freeing 
itself gradually from the clouds of smoke in which it was enve- 
loped. It now mounted into a ruddy and cheering flame, and the 
warm glow played picturesquely upon the grey sides of the cavern, 
which was of a rugged shape, and small dimensions, and cast its 
reddening light over the forms of the two men. 

Houseman stood close to the flame, spreading his hands over it, 
and a sort of grim complacency f tealing along features singularly 
ill-favoured, and sinister in their expression, as he felt the animal 
luxury of the warmth. 

Across his middle was a broad leathern belt, containing a 
brace of large horse-pistols, and the knife, or rather dagger, with 



KUOKM. AK.VM. 1*9 

which he had menaced Aram — an instrument sharpened on both 
sides, and nearly a foot in length. Altogether, what with his 
muscular breadth, of figure, his hard and rugged features, his 
weapons, and a certain reckless, bravo ail which indescribably 
marked his attitude and bearing, it was not well possible to 
imagine a fitter habitant for that grim cave, or one from whom, 
men of peace, like Eugene Aram, might have seemed to derive 
more reasonable cause of alarm. 

The scholar stood at a little distance, waiting till his companion 
was entirely prepared for the conference, and his pale and lofty 
features, hushed in their usual deep, but at such a moment almost 
preternatural, repose. He stood leaning with folded arms against 
the rude wall ; the light reflected upon his dark garments, with, 
the gracefid riding-cloak of the day half falling from his shoulder, 
and revealing also the pistols in his belt, and the sword which, 
though commonly worn at that time by all pretending to supe- 
riority above the lower and trading orders, Aram usually waived 
as a distinction, but now carried as a defence. And nothing could 
be more striking than the contrast between the ruffian form of his 
companion and the delicate and chisseled beauty of the student's 
features, with their air of mournful intelligence and serene com- 
mand, and the slender, though nervous symmetry of his frame. 

" Houseman," said Aram, now advancing, as his comrade turned 
his face from the flame towards him, "before we enter on the 
main subject of our proposed commune, tell me, were you engaged 
in the attempt last night upon Lester's house ?" 

" By the fiend, no !" answered Houseman ; "nor did I learn it 
till this morning : it was unpremeditated till within a few hours of 
the time, by the two fools who alone planned it. The fact is, that 
I myself and a greater part of our little band were engaged some 
miles off, in the western part of the county. Two— our general 
spies — had been, of their own accord, into your neighbourhood, 
to reconnoitre. They marked Lester's house during the day, and 

fathered from unsuspected inquiry in the village — for they were 
ressed as mere country clowns, — several particulars which in- 
duced them to think the house contained what might repay the 
trouble of breaking into it. And walking along the fields, they 
overheard the good master of the house tell one of his neighbours 
of a large sum at home ; nay, even describe the place where it was 
kept : that determined them ; — they feared that the sum might 
be removed the next day ; they had noted the house sufficiently 
to profit by the description given : they determined, then, of them- 
selves, for it was too late to reckon on our assistance, to break into 
the room in which the money was kept — though from the aroused 
vigilance of the frightened hamlet and the force within the house, 
they resolved to attempt no further booty. They reckoned on the 
violence of the storm, and the darkness of the night, to prevent 
their being heard or seen : they were mistaken — the house was 

alarmed, they were no sooner in the luckless room, than " 

"Well, I Know the rest. Was the one wounded dangerously 
hurt?" 



160 EUGENE A.KADL. 

'■ Oh, he will recover — he will recover ; our men are no chickens. 
But I own I thought it natural that you might suspect me of sharing 
in the attack ; and though, as I have said before, I do not love you, 
I have no wish to embroil matters so far as an outrage on the house 
of your father-in-law might be reasonably expected to do ; — at all 
events, while the gate to an amicable compromise between us is 
still open." 

" I am satisfied on this head," said Aram. " and I can now treat 
with you in a spirit of less distrustful precaution than before. I 
tell you, Houseman, that the terms are no longer at your control ; 
vou must leave this part of the country, and that forthwith, or you 
inevitably perish. The whole population is alarmed, and the most 
vigilant of the London police have been already sent for. Life is 
sweet to you as to us all, and I cannot imagine you so mad as to 
incur, not the risk, but the certainty, of losing it. You can no 
longer, therefore, hold the threat of your presence over my head. 
Besides, were you able to do so, I at least have the power, which 
you seem to have forgotten, of freeing myself from it. Am I chained 
to yonder valleys ? Have I not the facility of quitting them at any 
moment I will ? of seeking a hiding-place which might baffle, not 
only your vigilance to discover me, but that of the law ? True, my 
approaching marriage puts some clog upon my wing ; but you know 
that I, of all men, am not likely to be the slave of passion. And 
what ties are strong enough to arrest the steps of him who flies 
from a fearful death? Am I using sophistry here, Houseman? 
Have I not reason on my side ? " 

"What you say is true enough," said Houseman, reluctantly; 
" I do not gainsay it. But I know you have not sought me, in this 
spot, and at this hour, for the purpose of denying my claims : the 
desire of compromise alone can have brought you hither." 

" You speak well," said Aram, preserving the admirable coolness 
of his manner ; and continuing the deep and sagacious hypocrisy 
by which he sought to baffle the dogged covetousness and keen 
6ense of interest with which he had to contend. "It is not easy 
for either of us to deceive the other. We are men, whose percep- 
tion a life of danger has sharpened upon all points ; I speak to you 
frankly, for disguise is unavailing. Though I can fly from your 
reach, — though I can desert my present home and my intended 
bride, — I would fain think I have free and secure choice to preserve 
that exact path and scene of life which I have chalked out for 
myself : I would fain be rid of all apprehension from you. There 
are two ways only by which this security can be won : the first is 
through your death ; — nay, start not, nor put your hand on your 
pistol ; you have not now cause to fear me. Had I chosen that 
method of escape, I could have effected it long since : when months 
ago you slept under my roof,— ay, slept, — what should have 
hindered me from stabbing you during the slumber ? Two nights 
since, when my blood was up, and the fury upon me, — what should 
have prevented me tightening the grasp that you so resent, and 
Jaying you breathless at my feet? Nay, now, though you keep 
your eye fixed upon my motions, and your hand upon your weapon, 



EUCiKXK AHAM. 161 

you would be no match for a desperate and resolved ni*n, who 
might as well perisli in conflict with you as by the protracted 
•accomplishment of your threats. Your ball might fail (even now 
I see your baud trembles) — mine, if I so will it, is certain death. 
2\o, Houseman, it would be as vain for your eye to scan the dark 
pool into whose breast yon cataract casts its waters, as for your 
intellect to pierce the depths of my mind and motives. Your 
murder, though in self-defence, would lay a weight upon my soul, 
which would sink it for ever : I should see, in your death, new 
chances of detection spread themselves before me : the terrors of 
the dead are not to be bought or awed into silence ; I should pass 
from one peril into another ; and the law's dread vengeance might 
tall upon me, through the last peril, even yet more surely than 
through the first. Be composed, then, on this point ! From my hand, 
unless you urge it madly upon yourself, you are wholly safe. Let 
us turn to my second method of attaining security. It lies, not in 
yoTir momentary cessation from persecutions ; not in your absence 
from this spot alone ; you must quit the country — you must never 
return to it — your home must be cast, and your very grave dug, in 
a foreign soil. Are you prepared for this ? If not, I can say no 
mure ; and I again cast myself passive into the arms of fate." 

" You ask," said Houseman, whose fears were allayed bv Aram's 
address, though, at the same time, his dissolute and desperate 
nature was subdued and tamed in spite of himself by the very 
composure of the loftier mind with which it was brought in con- 
tact : — " you ask," said he, " no trifling favour of a mai,*— to desert 
his country for ever ; but I am no dreamer, that I should love one 
spot better than another. I might, perhaps, prefer a foreign clime, 
as the safer and the freer from old recollections, if I could live in 
it as a man who loves the relish of life should do. Show me the 
advantages I am to gain by exile, and farewell to the pale cliffs of 
England for ever ! " 

" Your demand is just," answered Aram. " Listen, then. lam 
willing to coin all my poor wealth, save alone the barest pittance 
wherewith to sustain life ; nay, more, I am prepared also to melt 
down the whole of my possible expectations from others, into the 
form of an annuity to yourself. But mark, it will be taken out of 
my hands, so that you can have no power over me to alter the con- 
ditions with which it wiU be saddled. It will be so vested that it 
shall commence the moment you touch a foreign clime ; and wholly 
and for ever cease the moment you set foot on any part of English 
ground ; or, mark also, at the moment of my death. I shall then 
know that no further hope from me can induce you to risk this 
income ; for, as I shall have spent my all in attaining it, you cannot 
tven meditate the design of extorting more. I shall know that 
you will not menace my life ; for my death would be the destruc- 
tion of your fortunes. We shall live thus separate and secure 
from each other ; you will have only cause to hope for my safety ; 
and I shall have no reason to shudder at your pursuits. It is true, 
that one source of fear might exist for me still — namely, that in, 
dying you should enjoy the fruitless vengeance of criminating me 

M 



1«2 EUGENE AflAJI. 

But this chance I must patiently endure ; you, if older, are mora 
robust and hardy than myself— your life -will probably be longer 
than mine ; and, even were it otherwise, why should we destroy 
one another ? I will solemnly swear to respect your secret at my 
death-bed ; why not on your part, I say not swear, bat resolve, to 
respect mine ? "We cannot love one another, but why hate with a 
gratuitous and demon vengeance? No, Houseman, however cir- 
cumstances may have darkened or steeled your heart, it is touched 
with humanity yet ; you will owe to me the bread of a secure and 
easy existence — you will feel that I have stripped myself, even to 
penury, to purchase the comforts I cheerfully resign to you — you 
will remember that, instead of the sacrifices enjoined by this alter- 
native, I might have sought only to counteract your threats by 
attempting a life that you strove to make a snare and torture to my 
own. You will remember this ; and you will not grudge me the 
austere and gloomy solitude in which I seek to forget, or the one 
solace with which I, perhaps vainly, endeavour to cheer my passage 
to a quiet grave. No, Houseman, no ; dislike, hate, menace me as 
you will, I still feel I shall have no cause to dread the mere wanton- 
ness of your revenge." 

These words, aided by a tone of voice, and an expression of 
countenance that gave them perhaps their chief effect, took even 
the hardened nature of Houseman by surprise : he was affected by 
an emotion which he could not have believed it possible the man 
who till then had galled him by the humbling sense of inferiority 
could have created. He extended his hand to Aram. 

"By • ," he exclaimed, with an oath which we spare the 

reader, " you are right ! you have made me as helpless in your 
hands as an infant. I accept your offer — if I were to refuse it, I should 
be driven to the same courses I now pursue. But look you, I know 
not what may be the amount of the annuity you can raise. I 
shall not, however, require more than will satisfy my wants ; 
which, if not so scanty as your own, are not at least very extrava- 
gant or very refined. As for the rest, if there be any surplus, 
in God's name keep it for yourself, and rest assured that, so far as 
I am concerned, you shall be molested no more." 

" No, Houseman," said Aram, with a half smile, " you shall 
have all I first mentioned ; that is, all beyond what nature craves, 
honourably and fully. Man's best resolutions are weak : if you 
knew I possessed aught to spare, a fancied want, a momentary 
extravagance, might tempt you to demand it. Let us put ourselves 
beyond the possible reach of temptation. But do not flatter your- 
self by the hope that the income will be magnificent. My own 
annuity is but trifling, and the half of the dowry I expect from my 
future father-in-law is all that I can at present obtain. The 
whole of that dowry is insignificant as a sum. But if this does 
not suffice for you, I must beg or borrow elsewhere.' 

" This, after all, is a pleasanter way of settling business," said 
Houseman, " than by threats and anger. And now I will tell you 
exactly the sum. on which, if I could receive it yearly, I could live 
without looking beyond the pale of the law for more — on which I 



BTJGEKJi AliAM. 163 

could cheerfully renounce England, and commence 'the honest 
man.' But then, hark you, I must have half settled on my little 
daughter." 

"What! have you a child?" said Aram, eagerly, and well 
pleased to find an additional security for his own safety. 

_" Ay, a little girl — my only one — in her eighth year. She livos 
with her grandmother, for she is motherless ; and that girl must 
not be left quite destitute should I be summoned hence before my 
time. Some twelve years hence — as poor Jane promises to be 
pretty — she may be married off my hands ; but her childhood must 
not be exposed to the chances of beggary or shame." 

" Doubtless not, doubtless not. Who shall say now that we ever 
outlive feeling ? " said Aram. " Half the annuity shall be settled 
upon her, should she survive you ; but on the same condition, 
ceasing when I die, or the instant of your return to England. And 
now, name the sum that vou deem sufficing." 

" Why," said Houseman, counting on his fingers, and muttering, 
"twenty — fifty— wine and the creature cheap abroad— humph ! a 
hundred for living, and half as much for pleasure. Come, Aram, 
one hundred and fifty guineas per annum, English money, will do 
for a foreign life — you see I am easily satisfied." 

" Be it so," said Aram ; " I will engage, by one means or another, 
to obtain what you ask. For this purpose I shall set out for 
London to-morrow ; I will not lose a moment in seeing the neces- 
sary settlement made as we have specified. But, meanwhile, you 
must engage to leave this neighbourhood, and, if possible, cause 
your comrades to do the same ; although you will not hesitate, for 
the sake of your own safety, immediately to separate from them." 

"Now that we are on good terms," replied Houseman, " I will 
not scruple to oblige you m these particulars. My comrades intend 
to quit the country before to-morrow ; nay, half are already gone : 
by daybreak I myself will be some miles hence, and separated from 
each of them. Let us meet in London after the business is com- 
pleted, and there conclude our last interview on earth." 

" What will be your address ? " 

" In Lambeth there is a narrow alley that leads to the water- 
side, called Peveril Lane. The last house to the right, towards the 
river, is my usual lodging — a safe resting-place at all times, and 
fcr all men." 

" There and then will I seek you. And now, Houseman, fare 
you well! As you remember your word to me, may life flow 
smooth for your child." 

"Eugene Aram," said Houseman, "there is about you something 
against which the fiercer devil within me would rise in vain. I have 
read that the tiger can be awed by the human eye, and you compel 
me into submission by a spell equally unaccountable. You are a 
singular man, and it seems to me a riddle how we could ever have 
bee* thus connected ; or how — but we will not rip up the past, it ia 
an ugly sight, and the fire is just out. Those stories do not do for 
the dark. But to return ; — were it only for the sake of my child, 
you might depend upon me now ; better, too, an arrangement of 

x 2 



! M BiraKUE AKAM, 

j lis uort, than if I had a larger sum in hand, which 1 might be 
.vjnipted to fling away, and, in looking for more, run my neck into 
a halter, and leave poor Jane upon charity. But come, it is almost 
dark again, and no doubt you wish to be stirring : stay, I will lead 
you back, and put you on the right track, lest you stumble on my 
friends." 

" Is this cavern one of their haunts ? " said Aram. 

" Sometimes ; but they sleep the other side of the Devil's Crag 
to-night. Nothing like a change of quarters for longevity — eh )" 

" And they easily spare you ? " 

" Yes, if it be only on rare occasions, and on the plea of family 
business. Now then, your hand, as before. 'Sdeath ! how it rains ! 
— lightning too !— I could look with less fear on a naked sword 
than those red, forked, blinding flashes. — Hark ! thunder ! " 

The night had now, indeed, suddenly changed its aspect ; the 
rain descended in torrents, even more impetuously than on the 
former night, while the thunder burst over their very heads, as they 
wound upward through the brake. "With every instant the light- 
ning, darting through the riven chasm of the blackness that seemed 
suspended as in a solid substance above, brightened the whole 
heaven into one livid and terrific flame, and showed to the tw 
men the faces of each other, rendered deathlike and ghastly by the 
glare. Houseman was evidently affected by the fear that some- 
times seizes even the sturdiest criminals, when exposed to those 
more fearful phenomena of the heavens, which seem to humble into 
nothing the power and the wrath of man. His teeth chattered, 
and he muttered broken words about the peril of wandering near 
trees when the lightning was of that forked character, quickening his 
pace at every sentence, and sometimes interrupting himself with an 
ejaculation, half oath, half prayer, or a congratulation that the 
rain at least diminished the danger. They soon cleared the 
thicket, and a few minutes brought them once more to the 
banks of the stream, aud the increased roar of the cataract. No 
earthly scene, perhaps, could surpass the appalling sublimity of 
that which they beheld ; — every instant the lightning, which 
became more and more frequent, converting the black waters into 
billows of living fire, or wreathing itself in lurid spires around 
the huge crag that now rose in sight ; and again, as the thunder 
rolled onward, darting its vain fury upon the rushing cataract 
and the tortured breast of the gulf that raved below. And the 
sounds that filled the air were even more fraught with terror and 
menace than the scene ; — the waving, the groans, the crash of the 
pines on the hill, the impetuous force of the rain upon the whirling 
river, and the everlasting roar of the cataract, answered anon by 
the yet more awful voice that burst above it from the clouds. 

They halted, while yet sufficiently distant from the cataract to 
be heard by each other. " My path," said Aram, as the lightning 
now paused upon the scene, and seemed literally to wrap in a lurid 
shroud the dark figure of the student, as he stood, with his hand 
calmly raised, and his cheek pale, but dauntless and composed,— 
" my path now lies yonder : in a week we shall meet again." 



FUG!:N>. AliAM. 185 

'' By the fiend," said Houseman, shuddering', " I would not, for 
a full hundred, ride alone through the moor you will pass ! There 
stands a gibbet by the road, on which a parricide was hanged in 
chains, Bray Heaven this night be no omen of the success of our 
present compact !" 

" A steady heart. Houseman," answered Aram, striking into the 
separate path, " is its own omen." 

The student soon gained the spot in which he had left his horse ; 
the animal had not attempted to break the bridle, but stood 
trembling from limb to limb, and testified by a quick short neigh 
the satisfaction with which it hailed the approach of its master, 
and found itself no longer alone. 

Aram remounted, and hastened once more into the main road. 
He scarcely felt the rain, though the fierce wind drove it right 
against his path ; ho scarcely manked the lightning, though at 
times, it seemed to dart its arrows on his very form : his heart was 
absorbed in the success of his schemes. 

" Let the storm without howl on," thought he, "that within hath 
a respite at last. Amidst the winds and rains I can breathe more 
freely than I have done on the smoothest summer day. By the 
charm of a deeper mind and a subtler tongue, I have conquered 
this desperate foe ; I have silenced this inveterate spy : and, Heaven 
be praised, he too has human ties ; and by those ties I hold him ! 
Z^ow, then, I hasten to London — I arrange this annuity — see that 
the law tightens every cord of the compact : and when all is done, 
and this dangerous man fairly departed on his exile, I return to 
Madeline, and devote to her a life no longer the vassal of accident 
and the hour. But I have been taught caution. Secure as my own 
prudence may have made me from farther apprehension of House- 
man, I will yet place myself wholly beyond his power : I will still 
consummate my former purpose, adopt a new name, and seek a new 
retreat : Madeline may not know the real cause ; but this brain is 
m >t barren of excuse. Ah ! " as drawing his cloak closer round 
him, he felt the purse hid within his breast which contained the 
order he had obtained from Lester, — " ah ! this will now add its 
quota to purchase, not a momentary relief, but the stipend of per 
petual silence. I have passed through the ordeal easier than I had 
hoped fur. Had the devil at his heart been more difficult to lay, so 
necessary is his absence, that I must have purchased it at any cost. 
Courage, Eugene Aram ! thy mind, for which thou hast lived, and 
for which thou hast hazarded thy soul — if soul and mind be distinct 
from each other — thy mind can support thee yet through every 
peril : not till thou art stricken into iaiotcy shalt thou behold thy- 
self defenceless. How cheerfully," muttered he, after a momentary 
pause, — "how chei-rfully, for safety, and to breathe with a quiet 
heart the air of Madeline's presence, shall I rid myself of all save 
enough to defy want. And want can never now come to me, as of 
old. He who knows the sources of every science from which wealth 
is wrought, holds even wealth at his will." 

Breaking at every interval into these soliloquies, Aram continued 
to breast the storm until he had won half his journey, and had 



ICG EUGENE AKAM. 

come upon a long and bleak moor, which was the entrance to that 
beautiful line of oountry in which the valleys around Grassdale are 
embosomed : faster and faster came the rain ; and though the 
thunder-clouds were now behind, they yet followed loweringly, in 
their black array, the path of the lonely horseman. 

But now he heard the sound of hoofs making towards him : he 
drew his horse on one side of the road, and at that instant, a broad 
flash of lightning illumining the space around, he beheld four 
horsemen speeding along at a rapid gallop : they were armed, and 
conversing loudly — their oaths were heard jarringly and distinctly 
amidst all the more solemn and terrific sounds of the night. They 
came on, sweeping by the student, whose hand was on his pistol, 
for he recognised in one of the riders the man who had escaped 
unwounded from Lester's house. He and his comrades were 
evidently, then, Houseman's desperate associates; and they, too, 
though they were borne too rapidly by Aram to be able to rein in 
their horses on the spot, had seen the solitary traveller, and already 
wheeled round, and called upon him to halt ! 

The lightning was again gone, and the darkness snatched the 
robbers, and their intended victim, from the sight of each other. 
But Aram had not lost a moment; fast fled his horse across the 
moor, and when, with the next flash, he looked back, he saw the 
ruffians, unwilling even for booty to encounter the horrors of the 
night, had followed him but a few paces, and again turned round ; 
still he dashed on, and had now nearly passed the moor ; the 
thunder rolled fainter and fainter from behind, and the lightning 
only broke forth at prolonged intervals, when suddenly, after a 
pause of unusual duration, it brought the whole scene into a light, 
if less_ intolerable, even more livid than before. The horse, that 
had hitherto sped on without start or stumble, now recoiled in 
abrupt affright ; and the horseman, looking up at the cause, beheld 
the gibbet, of which Houseman had spoken, immediately fronting 
hia path, with its ghastly tenant waving to and fro, as the winds 
rattled through the parched and arid bones ; and the inexpressible 
Sjrin of the skull fixed, as in mockery, upen. his omute-aaaos. 



ETOK.Ni: ARAM, 

BOOK IV 

CHAPTER I. 

IK WHICH WE RETURN TO WALTER.— HIS DEBT OF GRATITUDE TO 
MR. PERTINAX FILLGRAVE.— THE CORPORAL'S ADVICE, AND THE 
CORPORAL'S VICTORY. 



Let a physician be ever so excellent, there will be those that censure him. 

Oil Bla». 

We left "Walter in a situation of that critical nature, that it 
would be inhuman to deky our return to Mm. any longer. The 
blow by which he had been felled stunned him for an instant ; but 
his frame was of no common strength and hardihood, and the im- 
minent peril in which he was placed served to recall him from the 
momentary insensibility. On recovering himself, he felt that the 
ruffians were dragging him towards the hedge, and the thought 
flashed upon him that their object was murder. Nerved by this 
idea, he collected his strength, and suddenly wresting himself 
from the grasp of one of the ruffians, who had seized him by the 
collar, he had already gained his knee, and now his feet, when a 
second blow once more deprived him of sense. 

When a dim and struggling consciousness recurred to him, he 
found that the villains had dragged him to the opposite side of the 
hedge, and were deliberately robbing him. He was on the point 
of renewing a useless and dangerous struggle, when one of the 
ruffians said, — 

" I think he stirs. I had better draw my knife across his 
throat." 

"Pooh, no!" replied another voice; "never kill if it can be 
helped : trust me 'tis an ugly thing to think of afterwards. Besides, 
what use is it r A robbery in these parts is done and forgotten ; 
but a murder rouses the whole country." 

" Damnation, man ! why, the deed's done already : he's as dead 
as a door-nail." 

" Dead ! " said the other, in a startled voice ; " No, no ! " and 
leaning down, the ruffian placed his hand on Walter's heart. The 
unfortunate traveller felt his flesh creep as the hand touched him, 
but prudently abstained from motion or exclamation. He thought, 
however, as with dizzy and half-shut eyes he caught the shadowy 
and dusk outline of the face that bent over him, so closely that he 
felt the breath of its lips, that it was a face he had seen before; 
and as the man now rose, and the wan light of the skies gave a 
somewhat clearer view of his features, the supposition was height- 



16S EUGENE AKAM. 

ened, though not absolutely confirmed. But "Walter had no farther 
power to observe his plunderers ; again his brain reeled : the dark 
trees, the grim shadows of human forms, swam before his glazing 
eye ; and he sunk once more into a profound insensibility. 

Meanwhile, the doughty corporal had, at the first sight of his 
master's fall, halted abruptly at the spot to which his steed had 
carried him ; and coming rapidly to the conclusion that thr-ee men 
were best encountered at a distance, he fired his two pistols, and 
without staying to see if they took effect, which, indeed, they did 
not, galloped down the precipitous hill with as much despatch as 
if it had been the last stage to " Lunnun." 

" My poor young master ! " muttered he. " But if the worst 
comes to the worst, the chief part of the money's in the saddle- 
bags any how; and so, messieurs thieves, you're bit — baugh ! " 

The corporal was not long in reaching the town, and alarming 
the loungers at the inn-door. A posse comitatus was soon formed ; 
and, armed as if they were to have encountered all the robbers 
between Hounslow and the Apennine, a band of heroes, with the 
corporal, who had first deliberately reloaded his pistols, at their 
head, set off to succour " the poor gentleman what was already 
murdered." 

They had not got far before they found "Walter's horse, which 
had luckily broke from the robbers, and was now quietly regaling 
himself on a patch of grass by the road-side. " He can get his 
supper, the beast ! " grunted the corporal, thinking of his own ; 
ana bade one of the party try to catch the animal, which, however, 
would have declined all such proffers, had not a long neigh of 
recognition from the Roman nose of the corporal's steed, striking 
familiarly on the straggler's ear, called it forthwith to the corpo- 
ral's side ; and (while the two chargers exchanged greeting) the 
corporal seized its rein. 

When they came to the spot from which the robbers had made 
their sally, all was still and tranquil ; no "Walter was to be seen ; 
the corporal cautiously dismounted, and searched about with as 
much minuteness as if he were looking for a pin ; but the host of 
the inn at which the travellers had dined the day before, stumbled 
at once on the right track. Gouts of blood on the white chalky 
soil directed him to the hedge, and creeping through a small and 
recent gap, he discovered the yet breathing body of the young 
traveller. 

"Walter was now conducted with much care to the inn ; a surgeon 
was already in attendance ; for having heard that a gentleman had 
been murdered without his knowledge, Mr. Pertinax Fillgrave 
had rushed from his house, and placed himself on the road, that 
the poor creature might not, at least, be buried without his assist- 
ance. So eager was he to begin, that he scarce suffered the unfor- 
tunate "Walter to be taken within, before he whipped out his 
instruments, and set to work with the smack of an amateur. 

^though the surgeon declared his patient to be in the greatest 
possible danger, the sagacious corporal, who thought himself more 
privileged to know about wounds than any man of peace, by pro- 



EUGENE AKAM. ;.",> 

fession, however destructive by practice, could possibly be, had 
himself examined those his master had received, before he went 
down to taste his long-delayed supper ; and he now confidently 
assured the landlord, and the rest of the good company in the 
kitchen, that the blows on the head had been mere flea-bites, and 
that his master would bo as well as ever in a week at the farthest. 

And, indeed, when W alter the very next morning awoke from 
the stupor, rather than sleep, he had undergone, he felt himself 
surprisingly better than the surgeon, producing his probe, hastened 
to assure him he uossibly could he. 

By the help ot Mr. Pertinax Fillgrave, Walter was detained 
several days in the town ; nor is it wholly improbable, but that for 
the dexterity of the corporal, he might be in the town to this day \. 
not, indeed, in the comfortable shelter of the old-fashioned inn, 
but in the colder quarters of a certain green spot, in which, despite 
of its rural attractions, few persons are willing to fix a permanent 
habitation. 

Luckily, however, one evening, -the corporal, who had been, to 
say truth, very regular in his attendance on his master ; for, bating 
the selfishness consequent, perhaps, on his knowledge of the world, 
Jacob Bunting was a good-natured man on the whole, and liked 
his master as well as he did anything, always excepting Jacobina 
and board-wages ; one evening, we say, the corporal, coming into 
"Walter's apartment, found him sitting up in his bed, with a very 
melancholy and dejected expression of countenance. 

" And well, sir, what does the doctor say ?" asked the corporal,, 
drawing aside the curtains. 

" Ah ! Bunting, I fancy it's all over with me ! " 

" The Lord forbid, sir ! You're a-jesting, surely ? " 

" Jesting ! my good fellow : ah ! just get me that phial." 

" The filthy stuff!" said the corporal, with a wry face. " Well, 
sir, if I had the dressing of you — been half-way to Yorkshire by 
this. Man's a worm ; and when a doctor gets un on his hook, he ia 
sure to angle for the devil with the bait — augh ! " 

" What ! you really think that d — d fellow, Fillgrave, is keeping 
me on in this way r " 

" Is he a fool, to give up three phials a-day, 4s. 6d. item, ditto, 
ditto :" cried the corporal, as if astonished at the question. " But 
don't you feel yourself getting a deal better every day ? Don't 
you feel all this ere stuff revive you ? " 

" ZS"o, indeed, I was amazingly better the first day than I am 
now ; I make progress from worse to worse. Ah ! Bunting, if 
Peter Dealtry were here, he might help me to an appropriate 
epitaph : as it is, I suppose I shall be very simply labelled. 
Fillgrave will do the whole business, and put it down in his bill — 
item, nine draughts, item one epitaph." 

" Lord-a-mercy, your honour ! " said the corporal, drawing out 
a little red- spotted pocket-handkerchief ; " how can— jest so i — it'a 
quite moving." 

" I wish tee were moving !" sighed the patient. 

" And so we might be, cried the corporal ; " so we might, L5> 



170 EUGENE AKAM. 

you'd pluck up ri bit. Just let me look at your honour's head; I 
knows what a confusion is better nor any of 'em." 

The corporal having: obtained permission, now removed the 
bandages wherewith the doctor had bound his intended sacrifice to 
Pluto, and after peering- into the wounds for about a minute, he 
thrust out his under lip, with a contemptuous, — 

" Pshaugh ! auga ! And how long-," said he, " does Master 
Fillgrave say you be to be under his hands — augh ! " 

" He gives me hopes that I may be taken out an airing very 
gently (yes, hears is always go very gently ! ) in about three 
weeks ! " 

The corporal start*.!, and broke into a long- whistle. He then 
grinned from ear to e-ftv, snapped his fingers, and said, " Man of 
the world, sir, — man (:$ the world every inch of him ! " 

" He seems resolved that I shall be a man of another world," 
said Walter. 

" Tell ye what, sk—take my advice — your honour knows I be 
no fool — throw off them ere wrappers ; let me put on a scrap of 
plaster— pitch phials to devil — order out horses to-morrow, and 
when you've been in the air half an hour, won't know yourself 
again!" 

" Bunting! the horses out to-morrow? — Faith, I don't think 1 
eould walk across the room." 

" Just try, your honour." 

"Ah! I'm very weak, very weak — my dressing-gown and 
slippers— your arm, Bunting — well, upon my honour, I walk very 
stoutly, eh ! I should not have thought this ! Leave go : why I 
really get on without your assistance ! " 

" Walk as well as ever you did." 

" Now I'm out of bed, I don't think I shall go back again to it." 

" Would not, if I was your honour." 

" And after so much escrcise, I really fancy I've a sort of an 
appetite." 

" Like a beefsteak ? " 

" Nothing better." 

" Pint of wine?" 

" Why, that would be too much — eh?" 

" Not it." 

" Go, then, my good Bunting : go, and make haste — stop, I say, 
that d— d fellow " 

" Good sign to swear," interrupted the corporal ; " swore twice 
•within last five minutes — famous symptom ! " 

" Do you choose to hear me ? That d — d fellow, Fillgrave, is 
coming back in an hour to bleed me : do you mount guard — 
refuse to let him in — pay him his bill — you have the money. And 
harkye, don't be rude to the rascal." 

" Kude, your honour ! not I — been in the forty-second — knows 
discipline — only rude to the privates ! " 

The corporal having seen his master conduct himself respectably 
toward the viands with which he supplied him — having set his 
room to rights, brought him the candles, borrowed him a book, 



fJUKXi; AllAM. 171 

and left Mm, for the present, in extremely good spirits, and pre- 
pared for the flight of the morrow : the corporal, I say, now 
lighting his pipe, stationed himself at the door of the inn, rend 
waited for Mr. Pertinax Fillgrave. Presently the doctor, who was 
a little thin man, came hustling across the street, and was ahont, 
with a familiar " Good evening," to pass hy the corporal, when 
that worthy, dropping his pipe, said respectfully, "Beg pardon, 
sir — want to speak to you — a little favour. Will your honour 
walk into the hack-parlour ? " 

" Oh ! another patient," thought the doctor ; " these soldiers 
are careless fellows — often get into scrapes. Yes, friend, I'm at 
your service." 

The corporal showed the man of phials into the back-parlour, 
and hemming thrice, looked sheepish, as if in doubt how to 
begin. It was the doctor's business to encourage the bashful. 

" Well, my good man," said he, brushing off, with the arm of 
his coat, some dust that had settled on his inexpressibles, " so you 
want to consult me ? " 

"Indeed, your honour, I do; but — feel a little awkward in 
doing so — a stranger and all." 

" Pooh ! — medical men are never strangers. I am the friend of 
every man who requires my assistance." 

'' Augh ! — and I do require your honour's assistance very sadly." 

" Well — well — speak out. Anything of long standing ? ' ' 

" Whv, only since we have been here, sir." 

" Oh, that's all ! Well." 

" Your honour's so good — that — won't scruple in telling you all. 
You sees as how we were robbed — master, at least, was — -had some 
little in my pockets — but we poor servants are never too rich. 
You seems such a kind gentleman — so attentive to master — though 
you must have felt how disinterested it was to 'tend a man what 
had been robbed — that I have no hesitation in making bold to ask 
you to lend us a few guineas, just to help us out with the bill here, 
—bother ! " 

" Fellow!" said the doctor, rising, " I don't know what you 
mean ; but I'd have you to learn that I am not to be cheated out 
of my time and property ! I shall insist upon being paid my bill 
instantly, before I dress your master's wound once more ! " 

" Augh ! " said the corporal, who was delighted to find the doc- 
tor come so immediately into the snare : — " won't be so cruel, 
surely ! — why, you'll leave us without a shiner to pay my host 
here ! " 

" Nonsense ! — Your master, if he's a gentleman, can write home 
for money." 

" Ah, sir, all very well to say so ; but, between yon and me and 
the bedpost, young master's quarrelled with old master — old mas- 
ter won t give him a rap : so I'm sure, since your honour's a friend 
to every man who requires your assistance — noble saying, sir ! — 
yon won't refuse us a few guineas. And as for your bill — 
why—; — " 

" Sir, you're an impudent vagabond ! " cried the doctor, as red 



172 EUGENE ABAM. 

as a rose-draught, and flinging out of the room; " and I warn you, 
that I shall bring in my bill, and expect to be paid within ten 
minutes." 

The doctor waited for no answer — he hurried home, scratched off 
his account, and flew back with it in as much haste as if his 
patient had been a month longer under his care, and was conse- 
ouently on the brink of that happier world, where, since the 
inhabitants are immortal, it is very evident that doctors, as being- 
useless, are never admitted. 

The corporal met him as before. 

" There, sir ! " cried the doctor, breathlessly ; and then putting 
nis arms a-kimbo, " take that to your master, and desire him to- 
pay me instantly." 

" Augh ! and shall do no such thing." 

"You won't?" 

" No, for shall pay you myself. "Where's your receipt — eh ? " 

And with great composure the corporal drew out a well-filled 
purse, and discharged the bill. The doctor was so thunderstricken, 
that he pocketed the money without uttering a word. He consoled 
himself, however, with the belief that Walter, whom he had tamed 
into a becoming hypochondria, would be sure to send for him the 
next morning. Alas, for mortal expectations !— the next morning 
Walter was once more on the road. 



CHAPTER II. 

NEW TEACES OF THE FATE OF GEOFFEET LESTEE. — WALTEE AND 
THE COEPOEAL PBOCEED ON A FEESH EXPEDITION. — THE COEPOBAL 
IS ESPECIALLY SAGACIOUS ON THE OLD TOPIC OF THE WOBLD.— 
HIS OPINIONS ON THE MEN WHO CLAIM KNOWLEDGE THEEEOFj 
—ON THE ADVANTAGES ENJOYED BY A VALET ;— ON THE SCIENCE 
OF SUCCESSFUL LOVE ;— ON VIETUE AND THE CONSTITUTION;— 
ON QUALITIES TO BE DESIEED IN A MISTEESS, ETC.— A LAND- 
SCAPE. 



This way of talking of his very much enlivens the conversation among us of a 
more sedate turn. — Spectator, No. III. 



Waltek found, while he made search himself, that it was no 
easy matter, in so large a county as Yorkshire, to obtain even the 
preliminary particulars, viz. the place of residence, and the name 
of the colonel from India whose dying gift his father had left the 
house of the worthy Courtland to claim and receive. But the 
moment he committed the inquiry to the care of an active and 
intelligent lawyer, the case seemed to brighten up prodigiously ; 
and Walter was shortly informed that a Colonel Elmore, who had 
been in India, had died in the year 17 — ; that by a reference to 



KCfGK.NR AKAM. 1J.1 

his will, it appeared that he had left to Daniel Clarke the sum of 
a thousand pounds, and the house in which he resided before his 
death ; the latter being merely leasehold, at a high rent, was 
specified in the will to be of small value : it was situated in the 
outskirts of Knaresborough. It was also discovered that a Mr. 
Jonas Elmore, the only surviving executor of the will, and a dis- 
tant relation of the deceased colonel's, lived about fifty miles from 
York, and could, in sill probability, better than any one, afford 
"Walter those farther particulars of which he was so desirous to be 
'nformed. Walter immediately proposed to his lawyer to accom- 
pany him to this gentleman's house ; but it so happened that the 
lawyer could not, for three or four days, leave his business at York; 
and Walter, exceedingly impatient to proceed on the intelligence 
hus granted him, and disliking the meagre information obtained 
from letters, when a personal interview could be obtained, resolved 
himself to repair to Mr. Jonas Elmore's without farther delay. 
And behold, therefore, our worthy corporal and his master again 
mounted, and commencing a new journey. 
The corporal, always fond of adventure, was in high spirits, 
" See, sir," said he to his master, pattingwith great affection the 
neck of his steed, — " see, sir, how brisk the creturs are ; what a 
deal of good their long rest at York city's done 'em ! Ah, your 
honour, what a fine town that ere be ! — Yet," added the corporal, 
with an air of great superiority, " it gives you no notion of Lunnun 
like ; on the faith of a man, no ! " 

" Well, Bunting, perhaps we may be in London within a month 
hence." 

" And, afore we gets there, your honour, — no offence, — but 
should like to give you some advice ; 'tis ticklish place, that Lun- 
nun ; and though you be by no manner of means deficient in genus, 

yet, sir, you be young, and J be " 

" Old ; — true, Bunting," added Walter, very gravely. 
" Augh — bother! old, sir! old, sir! A man in the prime of 
life, — hair coal black (bating a few grey ones that have had since 
twenty, — care, and military service, sir), — carriage straight, — teeth 
strong, — not an ail in the world, bating the rheumatics, — is not 
old, sir, — not by no manner 01 means — baugh ! " 

" You are very right, Bunting : when I said old, I meant ex- 
perienced. I assure you I shall be very grateful for your advice ; 
and suppose, while we walk our horses up this hill, you begin lec- 
ture the first. London's a fruitful subject : all you can say on it 
will not be soon exhausted." 

" Ah, may well say that," replied the corporal, exceedingly 
flattered with the permission he had obtained ; " and anything 
my poor wit can suggest, quite at your honour's sarvice, — ehem, 
hem ! You must know by Lunnun, I means the world, and by the 
world means Lunnun ; know one— know t'other. But 'tis not them 
as affects to be most knowing as be so at bottom. Begging your 
honour's pardon, I thinks gentlefolks what lives only with gentle- 
folks, ana calls themselves men of the world, be often no wiser not 
Pagan creturs, and live in a Gentile darkness." 



174 EUGENE AfiAM. 

" The true knowledge of the world," said "Walter, " is only thea 
for the corporals of the forty-second, — eh, Bunting ? " 

" As to that, sir," quoth the corporal, " 'tis not being of this 
calling or of that calling that helps one on ; 'tis an inborn sort of 
genus, the talent of obsarving, and growing wise by obsarving. 
One picks up crumb here, crumb there ; but if one has not good 
digestion, Lord, what sinnines a feast ? Healthy man thrives on 
a *atoe, sickly looks pale on a haunch. You sees, your honour, 
as I said afore, I was own sarvant to Colonel Dysart ; he was a 
lord's nephy, a very gay gentleman, and great hand with the 
ladies,— not a man more in the world ; — so I had the opportunity 
of larning what's what among the best set ; at his honour's es> 
pense, too, — augh ! To my mind, sir, there is not a place from 
which a man has a better view of things than the bit carpet behind 
a gentleman's chair. The gentleman eats, and talks, and swears, 
and jests, and plays cards, and makes loves, and tries to cheat, and 
is cheated, and his man stands behind with his eyes and ears open 
—augh ! " 

" One should go into service to learn diplomacy, I see," said 
Walter, greatly amused. 

" Does not mow what 'plomacy be, sir, but knows it would be 
better for many a young master nor all the colleges ; — would not 
be so many bubbles if my lord could take a turn now and then 
with John. A- well, sir ! how I used to laugh in my sleeve like, 
when I saw my master, who was thought the knowingest gentleman 
about Court, taken in every day smack afore my face. There was 
one lady whom he had tried hard, as he thought, to get away from 
her husband ; and he used to be so mighty pleased at every glance 
from her brown eyes — and be d — d to them ! — and so careful the 
husband should not see — so pluming himself on his discretion here, 
and his conquest there, — when, Lord bless you, it was all settled 
'twixt man and wife aforehand ! And while the colonel laughed 
at the cuckold, the cuckold laughed at the dupe. For you see, sir, 
as how the colonel was a rich man, and the jewels as he bought for 
the lady went half into the husband's pocket — he ! he ! That's the 
way of the world, sir,— that's the way of the world ! " 

" Upon my word, you draw a very bad picture of the world : you 
colour highly ; and by the way, I observe that whenever you fand 
any man committing a roguish action, instead of calling him a 
scoundrel, you show those great teeth of yours, and chuckle out 
' A man of the world ! a man of the world ! ' " 

"To be sure, your honour ; the proper name, too. 'Tis your 
greenhorns who ny into a passion, and use hard words. You see, 
sir, there's one thing we larn afore all other things in the world— 
to- butter bread. Knowledge of others, means only the knowledge 
which side bread's buttered. In short, sir, the wiser grow, the 
more take care of oursels. Some persons make a mistake, and, in 
trying to take care of themsels, run neck into halter — baugh! 
they are not rascals— they are would-be men of the world. Others 
be more prudent (for, as I said afore, sir, discretion is a pair 
stirrups) ; they be the true men of the world." 



EUGENE AliAM. 17* 

" I should have thought," said Walter, " that the knowledge of 
the world might be that knowledge which preserves us from being 
cheated, but not that whioh enables us to oneat." 

" Augh ! " quoth the corporal, with that sort of smile with which 
yon see an old philosopher put down a high-sounding error from a 
young disciple who flatters himself he has uttered something pro- 
digiously fine, — " augh ! and did I not tell you, t'other day, to 
look at the professions, your honour ? What would a laryer be if 
he did not know how to cheat a witness and humbug a jury ? — 
knows he is lying : why is he lying ? for love of his fees, or his 
fame like, which gets fees ; — augh ! is not that cheating others ? 
The doctor, too— Master FillgTave, for instance ? " 

" Say no more of doctors ; I abandon them to your satire, with- 
out a word." 

" The lying knaves ! Don't they say one's well when one's ill — 
ill when ones well? — profess to know what_ don't k:iow? thrust 
solemn phizzes into every abomination, as if laming lay hid in 
a ? and all for their neighbour's money, or their own reputa- 
tion, which makes money — augh ! In short, sir, look where will, 
impossible to see so much cheating allowed, praised, encouraged, 
and feel very angry with a cheat who has only made a mistake. 
But when I sees a man butter his bread carefully — knife steady — 
butter thick, and hungry fellows looking on and licking chaps — 
mothers stopping their brats : ' See, child, respectable man,— how 
thick his bread's buttered ! pull off your hat to him ; * — when 
I sees that, my heart warms : there's the true man of the world 
— augh ! " 

" Well, Bunting," said Walter, laughing, "though yon are thus 
lenient to those unfortunate gentlemen whom others call rogues, 
and thus laudatory of gentlemen who are at best discreetly selfish, 
I suppose you admit the possibility of virtue, and your heart warms 
as much when yon see a man of worth as when you see a man of 
the world ? " 

" Why, you knows, your honour," answered the corporal, "so 
far as vartue's concerned, there's a deal in constitution ; out as for 
knowledge of the world, one gets it oneself ! " 

" I don't wonder, _ Bunting — as your opinion of women is much 
the same as your opinion of men — that you are still unmarried." 

" Augh ! but your honour mistakes ; I am no mice-and-trope. 
Men are neither one thing nor t'other, neither good nor bad. A 
prudent parson has nothing to fear from 'em, nor a foolish one 
anvthing to gain — bangh ! As to the women creturs, your honour, 
as 1 said, vartue's a deal in the constitution. Would not ask what 
a lassie's mind be, nor what her eddycation ; but see what her 
habits be, that's all,— habits and constitution all one, — play into 
one another's hands." 

" And what sort of signs, Bunting, would you mostly esteem in 
a lady : " 

" First place, sir, woman I'd marry must not mope when alone ! 
must be able to 'muse herself, — must be easily 'mused. That's a 
(rreat sign, sir, of an innocent mind, to be tickled with straws. 



170 £XJGEK£ AKAM. 

Besides, emp] ,yment keeps ; em out of harm's way. Second place, 
should obsarve if she was very fond of places, your honour — sorry 
to move — that's a sure sign she wont tire easily ; but that if she 
like you now from fancy, she'll like you by-and-by from custom. 
Thirdly, your honour, she should not be avarse to dress — a leaning 
that way shows she has a desire to please : people who don't care 
about pleasing, always sullen. Fourthly, she must bear to be 
crossed — I'd be quite sure that she might be contradicted, without 
mumping or storming ; 'cause then, you knows, your honour, if she 
wanted anything expensive, need not give it — augh ! Fifthly, 
must not set up for a saint, your honour ; they pye-house she-creturs 
always thinks themsels so much better nor we men; don't 
understand our language and ways, your honour : they wants us 
not only to belave, but to tremble— bother ! " 

"I like your description well enough, on the whole," said 
Walter ; " and when I look out for a wife I shall come to you for 
advice." 

" Your honour may have it already — Miss Ellinor's jist the 
thing." 

"Walter turned away his head, and told Bunting, with great 
show of indignation, not to be a fool. 

The corporal, who was not quite certain of his ground here, but 
who knew that Madeline, at all events, was going to be married to 
Aram, and deemed it, therefore, quite useless to waste any praise 
upon her, thought that a few random shots of eulogium were worth 
throwing away on a chance, and consequently continued, — 

" Augh, your honour, — 'tis not 'cause I have eyes, that I he's a 
fool. Miss Ellinor and your honour be only cousins, to be sure ; 
but more like brother and sister, nor anything else. Howsomever, 
she's a rare cretur, whoever gets her ; has a face that puts one in 
good humour with the world, if one sees it first thing in the morn- 
ing ; 'tis as good as the sun in July — augh ! but as I was saying, 
your honour, 'bout the women creturs in general " 

"Enough of them, Bunting; let us suppose you have been so 
fortunate as to find one to suit you — how would you woo her ? Of 
course there are certain secrets of courtship, which you will not 
hesitate to impart to one who, like me, wants such assistance from 
art, much more than you can do, who are so bountifully favoured 
by nature." 

" As to nature," replied the corporal, with considerable modesty, 
for he never disputed the truth of the compliment, " 'tis not 'cause 
a man be_ six feet without 's shoes that he's any nearer to lady's 
heart. Sir, I will own to you, howsomever it makes 'gainst your 
honour and myself, for that matter — that don't think one is a bit 
more lucky with the ladies for being so handsome ! 'Tis all very 
well with them ere willing ones, your honour — caught at a glance ; 
but as for the better sort, one's beauty's all bother ! Why, sir, 
when we see some of the most fortunatest men among she-creturs 
— what poor little minnikens they be ! One's a dwarf — another 
knock-kneed — a third squints — and a fourth might be shown for a> 
%ape ! Neither, sir, is it your soft, insinivating, die-away youths.* 



EUGENE AHAM. 177 

as seem at first so seductive ; they do very well for lovers, your 
honour : but then its always rejected ones ! Neither, your honour, 
does the art of succeeding with the ladies 'quire all those finniken 
nimini-pinimis, flourishes, and maxims, and saws, which the colonel, 
my old master, and the great gentlefolks^ as be knowing, call the 
art of love — baugh ! the whole science, sir, consists in these two 
rules — ' Ax soon, and ax often.' " 

" There seems no great difficulty in them, Bunting." 

" Not to us who has gumption, sir : but then there is summut in 
the manner of axing — one can't be too hot — can't flatter too much 
— and above all, one must never take a refusal. There, sir, now, — 
if you takes my advice — may break the peace of all the husbands in 
Lunnun — bother — whaugh ! " 

" My uncle little knows what a praiseworthy tutor he has secured 
me in you, Bunting," said "Walter, laughing ; " and now, while the 
road is so good, let us make the most of it. ' 

As they kad set out late in the day, and the corporal was fearful 
of another attack from a hedge, he resolved that, about evening, 
one of the horses should be seized with a sudden lameness (which 
he effected by slily inserting a stone between the shoe and the hoof), 
that required immediate attention and a night's rest ; so that it 
was not till the early noon of the next day that our travellers 
entered the village in which Mr. Jonas Elmore resided. 

It was a soft tranquil day, though one of the very last in October ; 
for the reader will remember that time had not stood still during 
Walter's submission to the care of Mr. Pertinax Fillgrave, and his 
subsequent journey and researches. 

The sunlight rested on a broad patch of green heath, covered 
with furze, and around it were scattered the cottages and farm- 
houses of the little village. On the other side, as Walter descended 
the gentle bill that led into this remote hamlet, wide and flat mea- 
dows, interspersed with several fresh and shaded ponds, stretched 
away towards a belt of rich woodland gorgeous with the melan- 
choly pomp by which the " regal year" seeks to veil its decay. 
Among these meadows you might now see groups of cattle quietly 
grazing, or standing half hid in the still and sheltered pools. 
Still farther, crossing to the woods, a solitary sportsman walked 
careless on, surrounded by some half a dozen spaniels, and the 
shrill small tongue of one younger straggler of the canine crew, 
who had broken incredulously from the rest, and already entered 
the wood, might be just heard, softened down by the distance, into 
a wild, cheery sound, that animated, without disturbing, the sere- 
nity of the scene. 

After all," said Walter aloud, " the scholar was right — there is 
nothing like the country ! 

' Oh, happiness of sweet retired content. 
To be at once secure and innocent ! ' " 

" Be them verses in the Psalms, sir ? " said the corporal, who was 
close behind. 
" No, Bunting ; but they were written bv on Q who, if I recol- 

N 



378 EUGENE ARAM. 

lect right, set the Psalms to verse.* I hope they meet with your 
approbation ?" 

" Indeed, sir, and no — since they ben't in the Psalms." 

" And why, Mr. Critic i" 

" 'Cause what's the use of security, if one's innocent, and does 
not mean to take advantage of it ? — baugh ! One does not lock the 
door for nothing, your honour ! " 

" You shall enlarge on that honest doctrine of yours another 
time ; meanwhile, call that shepherd, and ask the way to Mr. 
Elmore's." 

The corporal obeyed, and found that a clump of trees, at the 
farther corner of the waste land, was the grove that surrounded 
Mr. Elmore's house : a short canter across the heath brought them 
to a white gate, and having passed this, a comfortable brick man- 
sion, of moderate size, stood before them. 



CHAPTER III. 

A SCHOLAE, BUT OF A DIFFERENT MOULD FEOM THE STUDENT OF 
GBASSDALE.— NEW PARTICULARS CONCERNING GEOFFREY LESTER. 
—THE JOUENET RECOMMENCED. 



Insenuitque 
IAbris.t — Horat. 

Volat, ambiguis 
Mobilis alis, Hora.t — Seneca. 



Upon inquiring for Mr. Elmore, "Walter was shown into a 
handsome library, that appeared well stocked with boobs, of iliat 
good old-fashioned size and solidity, which are now fast passing 
from the world, or at least shrinking into old shops and public 
collections. The time may come when the mouldering remains of 
a folio will attract as much philosophical astonishment as the 
bones of the mammoth. For behold, the deluge of writers hath 
produced a new world of small octavo ! and in the next genera- 
tion, thanks to the popular libraries, we shall only vibrate between 
the duodecimo and the diamond edition. Nay, we foresee the time 
when a very handsome collection may be carried about in one's 
waistcoat-pocket, and a whole library of the British Classics be 
neatly arranged in a well-compacted snuff-box. 

In a few minutes Mr. Elmore made his appearance : he was a 
short, well-built man, about the age of fifty. Contrary to the 
established mode, he wore no wig, and was very bald ; except at 
-at sides of the head, and a little circular island of hair in the 

* Benham. 

t And he hath grown old in books. 

♦ Time flies, still moving on unce-tain winj. 



Kl(.KNK. ARAM 179 

centre. But this defect was rendered the lesB visible by a pro- 
fusion of powder. He was dressed with evident care and preoision ; 
a snuif-coloured coat was adorned with a respeotable profusion of 
gold lace ; his breeohes were of plum-coloured satin ; his salmon- 
coloured stockings, scrupulously drawn up ( displayed a very hand- 
some calf ; and a pair of steel buckles, in his_ nigh-heeled and 
square-toed shoes, were polished into a lustre which almost rivalled 
the splendour of diamonds. Mr. Jonas Elmore was a beau, a 
wit, and a scholar of the old school. He abounded in jests, in 
quotations, in smart sayings, and pertinent anecdotes j but, withal, 
his classical learning (out of the classics he knew little enough) 
was at once elegant, hut wearisome ; pedantic, but profound. 

To this gentleman Walter presented a letter of introduction 
which he had obtained from a distinguished clergyman in York. 
Mr. Elmore received it with a profound salutation : — 

" Aha, from my friend, Dr. Hebraist." said he, glancing atthe seal: 
' a most worthy man, and a ripe scholar. I presume at once, sir, 
from his introduction, that you yourself have cultivated the literas 
hwnaniores. Pray sit down — ay, I see, you take up a book — an 
excellent symptom ; it gives me an immediate insight into your 
character. But you have chanced, sir, on light reading, — one of 
the Greek novels, I think : you must not judge of my studies by 
such a specimen." 

" Nevertheless, sir, it does not seem to my unskilful eye very 
easy Greek." 

" Pretty well, sir, barbarous, but amusing,— pray continue it. 
The triumphal entry of Paulus Emilius is not ill told. I confess, 
that I think novels might be made much higher works than they 
have been yet. Doubtless, you remember what Aristotle says 
concerning painters and sculptors, 'that they teach and recom- 
mend virtue in a more efficacious and powerful manner than 
philosophers by their dry precepts, and are more capable of 
amending the vicious, than the best moral lessons without such 
;;id. But how much more, sir, can a good novelist do this, than the 
best sculptor or painter in the world ! Every one can be charmed 
by a fine novel, few by a tine painting. ' Docti rationem artis in- 
iflligunt, indocti voluptatem.'* A happy sentence that in Quinc- 
tilian, sir, is it not? But, bless me, I am forgetting the letter of 
my good friend, Dr. Hebraist. The charms of your conversation 
jurry me away. And, indeed, I have seldom the happiness to 
meet a gentleman so well-informed as yourself. I confess, sir, 
:hat I still retain the tastes of my boyhood ; the Muses cradled 
ray childhood, they now smooth the pillow on my footstool — Quern 
lu, Melpomene, &c. You are not yet subject to gout, dira podagra. 
By the way, how is the worthy doctor, since his attack? Ah, 
:~ee now, if yon have not still, by your delightful converse, kept 
me from his letter — yet, positively I need no introduction to you 
Apollo has already presented you to me. And as for the doctor's 
jetter, I will read it after dinner ; for as Seneca " 

• Th<; IfiiTjp (I umVirtand the rcasr n of •>■+ tbn unlearned the pleasure. 



180 EUGENE AllAM. 

" I beg your pardon a thousand times, sir," said Walter, who 
began to despair of ever coming to the matter, which seemed lost 
sight of beneath this battery of erudition, " but you will find by 
Dr. Hebraist's letter, that it is only on business of the utmost 
importance that I have presumed to break in upon the learned 
leisure of Mr. Jonas Elmore." 

" Business," replied Mr. Elmore, producing his spectacles, and 
deliberately placing them athwart his nose, 

" ' His mane cdictum, post prandia Callirhoen,' &c. 

Business in the morning, and the ladies after dinner. Well, sir, I 
will yield to you in the one, and you must yield to me in the 
other: I will open the letter, and you shall dine here, and be 
introduced to Mrs. Elmore. What is your opinion of the modern 
method of folding letters? I — but I see you are impatient." 
Here Mr. Elmore at length broke the seal ; and to Walter's great 
joy, fairly read the contents within. 

"Oh! I see, I see !" said he, refolding the epistle, and placing 
it in his pocket-book ; " my friend, Dr. Hebraist, says you are 
anxious to be informed whether Mr. Clarke ever received the 
legacy; of my poor cousin, Colonel Elmore ; and if so, any tidings I 
can give you of Mr. Clarke himself, or any clue to discover Mm, 
will be highly acceptable. I gather, sir, from my friend's letter, 
that this is the substance of your business with me, caput negotii ; 
— although, like Timanthes, the painter, he leaves more to be 
understood than is described, ' intelligitur plus quam pinqitur,' as 
Pliny has it." 

" Sir," said Walter, drawing his chair close to Mr. Elmore, and 
his anxiety forcing itself to his countenance, "that is indeed, the 
substance of my business with you ; and so important will be any 
information you can give me, that I shall esteem it a " 

" Not a very great favour, eh ? — not very great ! " 

" Yes, indeed, a very great obligation." 

" I hope not, sir ; for what says Tacitus — that profound reader 
of the human heart ? — ' beneflcia eo usque lata sunt,' &c. ; favours 
easily repaid beget affection — favours beyond return engender 
hatred. But, sir, a truce to trifling ; " and here Mr. Elmore com- 
posed his countenance, and changed, — which he could do at will, 
so that the change was not expected to last long — the pedant for 
tthe man of business. 

" Mr. Clarke did receive his legacy : the lease of the house at 
Knaresborough was also sold by his desire, and produced the sum 
of seven hundred and fifty pounds ; which being added to the 
farther sum of a thousand pounds, which was bequeathed to him, 
amounted to seventeen hundred and fifty pounds. It so happened, 
that my cousin had possessed some very valuable jewels, which 
were bequeathed to myself. I, sir, studious, and a cultivator of the 
Muse, had no love and no use for these baubles ; I preferred bar- 
baric gold to barbate pearl ; and knowing that Clarke had been in 
India, whence these jewels had been brought, I showed them to him, 
and consulted, his knowitdge on these matters, as to the besi 



ETGKNE ARAM. 181 

method of obtaining a sale. He offered to purchase them of me. 
under the impression that he could turn them to a profitable specu- 
lation in London. Accordingly wo came to terms : 1 sold the 
greater part of them to him for a sum a little exceeding a thousand 
pounds. He was pleased with his bargain ; and came to borrow 
the rest of me, in order to look at them more considerately at home, 
and determine whether or not he should buy them also. Well, sir 
(but here comes the remarkable part of the story), about three days 
after this last event, Mr. Clarke and my jewels both disappeared 
in rather a strange and abrupt manner. In the middle of the night 
he left his lodging at Knaresborough, and never returned ; neither 
himself nor my jewels were ever heard of more ! " 

" Good heavens ! " exclaimed "Walter, greatly agitated ; " what 
was supposed to be the cause of his disappearance ? ' 

"That," replied Elmore, "was never positively traced. It 
excited great surprise and great conjecture at the time. Adver- 
tisements and handbills were circulated throughout the country, 
but in vain. Mr. Clarke was evidently a man of eccentric habits, 
of a hasty temper, and a wandering manner of life ; yet it is scarcely 
probable that he took this sudden manner of leaving the country, 
either from whim or some secret but honest motive never divulged. 
The fact is, that he owed a few debts in the town — that he had my 
jewels in his possession, and as (pardon me for saying this, since you 
take an interest in him) Ids connections were entirely unknown in 
these parts, and his character not very highly estimated (whether 
from his manner, or his conversation, or some undefined and vague 
rumours, I cannot say), it was considered by no means improbable 
that he had decamped with his property in this sudden manner in 
order to save himself that trouble of settling accounts which, a 
more seemly and public method of departure might have rendered 
necessary. A man of the name of Houseman, with whom he was 
acquainted (a resident in Knaresborough), declared that Clarke 
had borrowed rather a considerable sum from him, and did not 
scruple openly to accuse him of the evident design to avoid repay- 
ment. A few more dark but utterly groundless conjectures were 
afloat ; and_ since the closest search, the minutest inquiry, was 
employed without any result, the supposition that he might have 
been robbed and murdered was strongly entertained for some time ; 
Dut as his body was never found, nor suspicion directed against any 
particular person, these conjectures insensibly died away; and, 
born? so complete a stranger to these parts, the very circumstance 
of his disappearance was not likely to occupy, for very long, the 
attention of that old gossip the Public, who, even in the remotest 
parts, has a thousand topics to fill up her time and talk. And 
now, sir, I think you know as much ot the particulars of the case 
as any one in these parts can inform you." 

We may imagine the various sensations which this unsatisfactory 
intelligence caused in the adventurous son of the lost wanderer. 
He continued to throw out additional guesses, and to make farther 
inquiries concerning a tale which seemed to him so mysterious, but 
without effect ; and he had the mortification to perceive, that the 



Ur iiCGENB ARAM. 

shrewd Jonas was, in his own mind, fully convinced that the per- 
manent disappearance of Clarke was accounted for only by the most 
dishonest motives. 

'' And," added Elmore, " I am confirmed in this belief by dis- 
covering afterwards, from a tradesman in York who had seen my 
cousin's jewels, that those I had trusted to Mr. Clarke's hands were 
more valuable than I had imagined them, and therefore it was 
probably worth his while to make off with them as quietly as 
possible. He went on foot, leaving his borse, a sorry nag, to settle 
with me and the other claimants : — 

' I, pedes quo te rapituit et aurse ! ' "* 

" Keavtns ! " thought Walter, sinking back in his chair sickened 
and disheartened, " what a parent, if the opinions of all men who 
knew him be true, do I thus zealously seek to recover ! '" 

The good-natured Elmore, perceiving the unwelcome and painful 
impression his account had produced on his young guest, now 
exerted himself to remove, or at least to lessen it ; and, turning the 
conversation into a classical channel, which with him was the Lethe 
to all cares, he soon forgot that Clarke had ever existed, in expa- 
tiating on the unappreciated excellences of Propertius, who, to his 
mind, was the most tender of all elegiac poets, solely because he 
was the most learned. Fortunately this vein of conversation, how- 
ever tedious to Walter, preserved him from the necessity of rejoin- 
der, and left him to the quiet enjoyment of his own gloomy and 
restless reflections. 

At length the time touched upon dinner : Elmore, starting up, 
adjourned to the drawing-room, in order to present the handsome 
stranger to the placens uxor — the pleasing wife, whom, in passing 
through the hall, he eulogised with an amazing felicity of diction. 

The object of these praises was a tall, meagre lady, in a yellow 
dress carried up to the chin, and who added a slight squint to the 
charms of red hair, ill concealed by powder, and the dignity of a 
prodigiously high nose. 

" There is nothing, sir," said Elmore,—" nothing, believe me, 
like matrimonial felicity. Julia, my dear, I trust the chickens will 
not be overdone." 

" Indeed, Mr. Elmore, I cannot tell ; I did not boil them." 

" Sir," said Elmore, turning to his guest, " I do not know whether 
you will agree with me, but I think a slight tendency to gourman- 
uism is absolutely necessary to complete the character of a truly 
classical mind. So many beautiful touches are there in the ancient 
poets — so many delicate allusions in history and in anecdote 
relating to the gratification of the palate, that, if a man have no 
correspondent sympathy with the illustrious epicures of old, he is 
rendered incapable of enjoying the most beautiful passages that 
■ Come, sir, the dinner is served : — 

' Nutrimus lautis mollissima corpora mens'.s.' " t 



* Go, where your feet and fortune take you. 

t We nourish softest bodies at luxurious oanqucto. 



KCJGHNE A.JU.M. /83 

As they orossed the hall to the dining-room a young lady, whom 
Elmore hastily announced as his only daughter, appeared descend- 
ing the stairs, haying evidently retired for the purpose of re-arrang- 
ing her attire for the conquest of the stranger. There was some- 
thing in Miss Elmore that reminded Walter of Ellinor, and as the 
likeness struck him, he felt, hy the sudden and involuntary sigh it 
occasioned, how much the image of his cousin had lately gained 
ground upon his heart. 

Nothing of any note occurred during dinner, until the appearance 
of the second course, when Elmore, throwing himself back with an 
air of content, which signified that the first edge of his appetite 
was blunted, observed, — 

" Sir, the second course I always opine to be the more dignified 
and rational part of a repast, — 

' Quod nunc ratio est, impetus ante fuit.' " * 

" Ah ! Mr. Elmore," said the lady, glancing towards a brace of 
very fine pigeons, " I cannot tell you how vexed I am at a mistake 
of the gardener's ; you remember my poor pet pigeons, so attached 
to each other — would not mix with the rest — quite an inseparable 
friendship, Mr. Lester — well, they were killed, by mistake, for a 
couple of vulgar pigeons. Ah ! I cculd not touch a bit of them for 
the world." 

" My love," said Ebnorc, pausing, and with great solemnity, 
" hear' how beautiful a consolation is afforded to you in Valerius 
Maximus :— ' TJbi idem et maximus et honestissimus amor est, 
aliquando prsestat morte jungi quam vita distrahi ! ' which, being 
interpreted, means, that wherever, as in the case of your pigeons, a 
thoroughly high and sincere affection exists, it is sometimes better 
to be joined in death than divided in life. — Give me half the fatter 
one, if you please, Julia." 

" Sir," said Elmore, when the ladies withdrew, " I cannot tell 
you how pleased I am to meet with a gentleman so deeply imbued 
with classic lore I remember, several years ago, before my poor 
cousin died, it was my lot, when I visited him at Knaresborough, 
to hold some delightful conversations on learned matters with a 
very rising young scholar who then resided at Knaresborough, — 
Eugene Aram. Conversations as difficult to obtain as delightful to 
remember, for he was exceedingly reserved." 

" Aram !" repeated Walter. 

" What ! you know him then ? — and where does he live now?" 

"In . very near my uncle's residence. He is certainly a 

remarkable man." 

" Yes, indeed, he promised to become so. At the time I refer to 
he was poor to penury, and haughty as poor ; but it was wonder- 
ful to note the iron energy with which he pursued his progress to 
learning. Never did I see a youth, — at that time he was no mores, 
—so devoted to knowledge for itself. 

' Doctrinae prettum triste magister habet.' f 

* That, which is now reason, at first was but desire. 

t The master has but sorry remuneration for bis teaching. 



..84 KTJGENE AEAM. 

" Methinks," added Elmore, " I can see him now, stealing away 
from the haunts of men. 

' With even step and musing gait,* 

across the quiet fields, or into the woods, whence he was certain not 
to reappear till nightfall. Ah ! he was a strange and solitary 
heing, but full of genius, and promise of bright things hereafter. 
I have often heard since of his fame as a scholar, but could never 
learn where he lived, or what was now his mode of life. Is he yet 
married ? 

" Not yet, I believe : but he is not now so absolutely poor as you 
describe him to have been then, though certainly far from rich." 

" Yes, yes, I remember that he received a legacy from a relation 
shortly before he left Knaresborough. He had very delicate health 
at that time : has he grown stronger with increasing years ? " 

" He does not complain of ill health. And pray, was he then 
of the same austere and blameless habits of life that he now pro- 
fesses?" 

" Nothing could be so faultless as his character appeared ; the 
passions of youth (ah ! I was a wild fellow at his age) never 
seemed to venture near one — 

' Quern casto erudit docta Minerva sinu.' * 

"Well, I am surprised he has not married. We scholars, sir, fall in 

love with abstractions, and fancy the first woman we see is 

Sir, let us drink — the ladies." 

The next day Walter, having resolved to set out for Knares- 
borough, directed his course towards that town ; he thought it yet 
possible that he might, by strict personal inquiry, continue the clue 
that Elmore's account had, to present appearance, broken. The 
pursuit in which he was engaged, combined, perhaps, with the early 
disappointment to his affections, had given a grave and solemn 
tone to a mind naturally ardent and elastic. His character 
acquired an earnestness and a dignity from late events ; and all 
that once had been hope within him, deepened into thought. As 
now, on a gloomy and clouded day, he pursued his course along a 
Weak and melancholy road, his mind was filled with that dark 
presentiment — that shadow from the coming event, which super- 
stition believes the herald of the more tragic discoveries or the 
more fearful incidents of life : he felt steeled, and prepared for 
some dread denotement, to a journey to which the hand of Provi- 
dence seemed to conduct his steps ; and he looked on the shroud that 
Time casts over all beyond the present moment with the same in- 
tense and painful resolve with which, in the tragic representations 
of life, we await the drawing up of the curtain before the last act, 
which contains the catastrophe, that, while we long, we half shudder 
to behold. 

Meanwhile, in following the adventures of Walter Lester, we 
have greatly outstripped the progress of events at Grassdale, and 
thither we now return. 

• Whom wise Minerva taught with bosom chaste. 



KCGKNfi ARAU. «S0 



CHAPTER IV. 

ABaMS DEPARTURE. — MADELINE.— EXAGGERATION OP SENTIMENT 
NATURAL IN LOVE.— MADELINE'S LETTER.— WALTER'S.— THE WALK. 
—TWO VKEY DIFFERENT PERSONS, YET BOTH INMATES OF THE 
SAME COUNTRY VILLAGE.— THE HUMOURS OF LIFE, AND ITS DARK 
VASSIONS, ARE FOUND IN JUXTAPOSITION EVERYWHERE 



Her thoughts as pure as the chaste morning's breath, 

When from the Night's cold arms it creeps away, 

Were clothed in words.—" Detraction Execrated," by Sir J. Suckling. 

Urticae proxima ssepe rosa est.*— Ovid. 



" You positively leave us then, to-day, Eugene ?" said the 
squire. 

" Indeed," answered Aram, "I hear from my creditor (now no 
longer so, thanks to you) that my relation is so dangerously ill, 
that, if I have any wish to see her alive, I have not an hour to 
lose. It is the last surviving relative I have in the world." 

" I can say no more, then," rejoined the squire, shrugging his 
shoulders. " When do you expect to return ? " 

" At least before the day fixed for the wedding," answered Aram, 
with a grave and melancholy smile. 

" Well, can you find time, think you, to call at the lodging in 
which my nephew proposed to take up his abode — my old lodg- 
ing; — I will give you the address, — and inquire if Walter has 
been heard of there : I confess that I feel considerable alarm on his 
account. Since that short and hurried letter which I read to you, 
I have heard nothing of him." 

" You may rely on my seeing him if in London, and faithfully 
reporting to you all that I can learn towards removing your 
anxiety." 

" I do not doubt it ; no heart is so kind as yours, Eugene. "You 
will not depart without receiving the additional sum you are en- 
titled to claim from me, since you think it may be useful to you 
in London, should you find a favourable opportunity of increasing 
your annuity. And now I will no longer detain you from taking 
your leave of Madeline." 

The plausible story which Aram had invented, of the illness and 
approaching death of his last living relation, was readily believed 
by the simple family to whom it was told ; and Madeline herself 
checked her tears, that she might not, for his sake, sadden a 
departure that seemed inevitable. Aram accordingly repaired to 

* Tke rose J often nearest to the nettl*. 



18S JSUUENU A1UA. 

London that day — the one that followed the night which witnessed 
his fearful visit to the Devil's Crag. 

It is precisely at this part of my history that I love to pause for 
a moment ; a sort of breathing interval between the cloud that has 
been long gathering, and the storm that is about to burst. And 
this interval is not without its fleeting gleam of quiet and holy 
sunshine. 

It was Madeline's first absence from her lover since their vows 
had plishted them to each other ; and that first absence, when 
softened by so many hopes as smiled upon her, is perhaps one of 
the most touching passages in the history of a woman's love. It is 
marvellous how many things, unheeded before, suddenly become 
dear. She then feels what a power of consecration there was in 
the mere presenee of the one beloved ; the spot he touched, the 
book be read have become a part of him — are no longer inanimate — 
are inspired, and have a being and a voice. And the heart, too, 
soothed in discovering so many new treasures, and opening so 
delightful a world of memory, is not yet acquainted with that 
weariness — that sense of exhaustion and solitude, which are the true 
pains of absence, and belong to the absence, not of hope but regret. 

" You are cheerful, dear Madeline," said Ellinor, " though you 
did not think it possible, and he not here ! " 

" I am occupied," replied Madeline, "in discovering how much I 
loved him." 

We do wrong when we censure a certain exaggeration in the 
sentiments of those who love. True passion is necessarily heightened 
by its very ardour to an elevation that seems extravagant only to 
those who cannot feel it. The lofty language of a hero is a part of 
his character ; without that largeness of idea he had not been a 
hero. With love, it is the same as with glory : what common 
minds would call natural in sentiment, merely because it is homely, 
is not natural, except to tamed affections. That is a very poor, 
nay, a wry coarse, love, in which the imagination makes not the 
greater part. And the Frenchman who censured the love of his 
mistress because it was so mixed with the imagination, quar- 
relled with the body for the soul which inspired and preserved it. 

Yet we do not say that Madeline was so possessed by the con- 
fidence of her love, that she did not admit the intrusion of a single 
doubt or fear. When she recalled the frequent gloom and moody 
fitfulness of her lover — his strange and mysterious communings 
with self— the sorrow which, at times, as on that Sabbath eve when 
he wept upon her bosom, appeared suddenly to come upon a nature 
so calm and stately, and without a visible cause; when she 
recalled all these symptoms of a heart not now at rest, it was not 
possible for her to reject altogether a certain vague and dreary 
apprehension. Nor did she herself, although to Ellinor she so 
affected, ascribe this cloudiness and caprice of mood merely to the 
result of a solitary and meditative life ; she attributed them to the 
influence of an early grief, perhaps linked with the affections, and 
did not doubt but that one day or another she should learn the 
secret. As for remorse — the memory of any former sin, — a life 80 



EUGENE AKAM. t3? 

austerely blameless, a disposition so prompt to the activity of gooa, 
and so enamoured of its beauty — a mind so cultivated, a temper so 
gentle, and a heart so easily moved— all would have forbidden, to 
natures far more suspicious than Madeline's, the conception of 
such a thought. And so, with a patient gladness, though not 
without some mixture of anxiety, she suffered herself to glide 
onward to a future, which, come cloud, come shine, was, she 
believed at least, to be shared with him. 

On looking over the various papers from which I have woven 
this tale, I find a letter from Madeline to Aram, dated at this 
time. The characters, traced in the delicate and fair Italian hand 
coveted at that period, are fading, and, in one part, wholly oblite- 
rated by time ; but there seems to me so much of what is genuine 
in the heart's beautiful romance in this effusion, that I will lay 
it tefcre the reader without adding or altering a word : — 

" Thank you — thank you, dearest Eugene ! — I have received, 
then, the first letter you ever wrote to me. I cannot tell you how 
strange it seemed to me, and how agitated I felt, on seeing it ; 
more so, I think, than if it had been yourself who had returned. 
However, when the first delight of reading it faded away, I found 
that it had not made me so happy as it ought to have done — as I 
thought at first it had done. You seem sad and melancholy ; a 
certain nameless gloom appears to me to hang over your whole 
letter. It affects my spirits — why, I know not— and my tears fall, 
even while I read the assurances of your unaltered, unalterable 
love : and yet this assurance your Madeline — vain girl ! — never for 
a moment disbelieves. I have often read and often heard of the 
distrust and jealousy that accompany love ; but I think that such 
a love must be a vulgar and low sentiment. To me, there seems a 
religion in love, and its very foundation is in faith. You say, 
dearest, that the noise and stir of the great city oppress and weary 
you even more than you had expected. You say those harsh faces, 
in which business, and care, and avarice, and ambition, write their 
lineaments, are wholly unfamiliar to you ; you turn aside to avoid 
them ; you wrap yourself up in your solitary feelings of aversion 
to those yon see, and you call upon those not present — upon your 
Madeline'! And would that your Madeline were with you! It 
seems to me— perhaps you will smile when I say this — that I alone 
can understand you — I alone can read your heart and your emo- 
tions ; and, oh ! dearest Eugene, that I could read also enough of 
your past history to know all that has cast so habitual a shadow 
over that lofty heart and that calm and profound nature ! You 
smile when I ask you; but sometimes you sigh,— and the sigh 
pleases and soothes me better than the smile. * * * 

" We have heard nothing more of Walter, and my father con- 
tinues to be seriously alarmed about him. Your account, too, cor- 
roborates that alarm. It is strange that he has not yet visited 
London, and that you can obtain no due of him. He is evidently 
still in search of his lost parent, and following some obscure and 
uncertain track Poor Walter ! God speed him ! The singular 



!88 EUGENE AEAM 

fate of ids father, and the many conjectures respecting him, have, 
I believe, preyed on Walter's mind more than he acknowledged. 
Ellinor found a paper in his closet, where we had occasion to search 
the other day for something belonging to my father, which was 
scribbled with all the various fragments of guess or information 
concerning my uncle, obtained from time to time, and interspersed 
with some remarks by Walter himself that affected me strangely. 
Tt seems to have been, from early childhood, the one desire of my 
cousin to discover his father's fate. Perhaps the discovery may be 
already made ; — perhaps my long-lost uncle may yet be present at 
our wedding. 

"You ask me, Eugene, if I still pursue my botanical researches. 
Sometimes I do ; but the flower now has no fragrance, and the herb 
no secret, that I care for ; and astronomy, which you had just 
begun to teach me, pleases me more ; the flowers charm me when 
you are present ; but the stars speak to me of you in absence. 
Perhaps it would not be so, had I loved a being less exalted than 
you. Every one, — even my father, even Ellinor, smile when they 
observe how incessantly I think of you — how utterly you have 
become all in all to me. I could not tell this to you, though I 
write it : is it not strange that letters should be more faithful than 
the tongue ? And even your letter, mournful as it is, seems to me 
kinder, and dearer, and more full of yourself, than, with all the 
magic of your language, and the silver sweetness of your voice, 
your spoken words are. I walked by your house yesterday ; the 
windows were closed ; there was a strange air of lifelessness and 
dejection about it. Do you remember the evening in which I first 
entered that house ? Do you — or, rather, is there one hour in which 
it is not present to you ? For me, I live in the past, — it is the pre- 
sent (which is without you) in which I have no life. I passed into 
the little garden, that with your own hands you have planted for 
me, and filled with flowers. Ellinor was with me, and she saw my 
lips move. She asked me what I was saying to myself. I would 
not tell her ; — I was praying for you, my kind, my beloved Eugene. 
1 was praying for the happiness of your future years,— praying 
that I might requite your love. Whenever I feel the most, I am 
the most inclined to prayer. Sorrow, joy, tenderness, all emotion, 
lift up my heart to God. And what a delicious overflow of the 
heart is prayer ! When I am with you — and I feel that you love 
me — my happiness would be painful, if there were no God whom I 
might bless for its excess. Do those who believe not love ? — have 
they deep emotions ? — can they feel truly — devotedly ? Why, 
when I talk thus to you, do you always answer me with that chill- 
ing and mournful smile ? You would rest religion only on reason, 
— as well limit love to the reason also ! — what were either without 
the feelings ? 

"When — when — when will you return? I think I love you 
now more than ever. I think 1 have more courage to tell you so. 
So many things I have to say, — so many events to relate. For 
what is not an event to us ? the least incident that has happened to 



EUGENE AHAM. 180 

either ; — the very fading of a flower, if you have worn it, is a whole 
history to me. 

"Attieu, — God bless you! God reward you ; God keep your heart 
with Him, dearest, dearest Eugene. And may you every day 
know better and better how utterly you are loved by your 

" Madeline." 

The epistle to which Lester referred, as received from Walter, 
was one written on the day of his escape from Mr. Pertinax 
Fillgrave, a short note rather than letter, which ran as follows : — 

"My deae Uncle, 

" I have met with an accident, which confined me to my bed ; a 
rencontre, indeed, with the knights of the road ; nothing serious 
(so do not be alarmed !), though the doctor would fain have made 
it so. I am just about to recommence my journey ; but not to- 
wards London ; on the contrary, northward. 

"I have, partly through the information of your old friend, Mr. 
Courtland, partly by accident, found what I hope may prove a clue 
to the fate of my father. I am now departing to put this hope to 
the issue. More I would fain say ; but, lest the expectation should 
prove fallacious, I will not dwell on circumstances which would, in 
that case, only create in you a disappointment similar to my own. 
Only this take with you, that my father's proverbial good-luck 
seems to have visited him since your latest news of his fate ; a 
legacy, though not a large one, awaited his return to England from 
India : but see if I am not growing prolix already ; — I must break 
off in order to reserve you the pleasure (may it be so !) of a full 
surprise ! 

" God bless you, my dear uncle ! I write in spirits and hope. 
Kindest love to all at home. 

" Waltee Lestee." 

"P.S. Tell Ellinor that my bitterest misfortune, in the adven- 
ture I have referred to, was to be robbed of her purse. Will she 
knit me another ? By the way, I encountered Sir Peter Hales ; 
such an open-hearted, generous fellow as you said ! ' thereby hangs 
a tale.' " 

This letter, which provoked all the curiosity of our little circle, 
made them anxiously look forward to every post for additional 
explanation, but that explanation came not ; and they were forced 
to console themselves with the evident exhilaration under which 
Walter wrote, and the probable supposition tha the delayed farther 
information until it could be ample and satisfactory. " Knights 
of the road," quoth Lester, one day ; " I wonder if they were any 
of the gang that have just visited us. Well, but poor boy ! he 
does not say whether he has any money left ; yet, if he were short 
of the gold, he would be very unlike his father (or his uncle, for 
that matter) had he forgotten to enlarge on that subject, however 
brief upon others " 



:S>0 EUGENE ARAM. 

" Probably," said Ellinor, *' the corporal carried the main sam 
about him in those well-stuffed saddle-bags, and it was only the 
purse that Walter had about his person that was stolen ; and it is 
clear that the corporal escaped, as he mentions nothing about that 
excellent personage." 

" A shrewd guess, Nell; but pray, why should Walter carry 
the purse about him so carefully r Ah, you blush: well, will you 
knit him another ? " 

" Pshaw, papa! Good-bye ; I am going to gather you a nosegay." 

But Ellinor was seized with a sudden fit of industry, and some- 
how or other, she grew fonder of knitting than ever. 

The neighbourhood was now tranquil and at peace : the nightly 
depredators that had infested the green valleys of Grassdale were 
heard of no more ; it seemed a sudden incursion of fraud and crime 
which was too unnatural to the character of the spot invaded to do 
more than to terrify and to disappear. The truditur dies die — the 
serene steps of one calm day chasing another, returned, and the 
past alarm was only remembered as a tempting subject of gossip 
to the villagers, and (at the hall) a theme of eulogium on the 
courage of Eugene Aram. 

" It is a lovely day," said Lester to his daughters as they sat at 
the window ; " come girls, get your bonnets, and let us take a walk 
into the villaco." 

" And meet the postman," said Ellinor, archly. 

" Yes," rejoined Madeline, in the same vein, but in a whisper 
that Lester might not hecr : "for who knows but that we may 
have a letter from Walter r " 

How prettily sounds such raillery on virgin lips ! No, no ! 
nothing on earth is so lovely as the confidence between two 
happy sisters, who have no secrets but those of a guileless love to 
reveal ! 

As they strolled into the village they were met by Peter Dealtry, 
who was slowly riding home on a large ass, who carried him- 
self and his panniers to the neighbouring market in a more quiet 
and luxurious indolence of action than would the harsher motions 
of the equine species. 

" A fine day, Peter ; and what news at market?" said Lester. 

" Corn high, hay dear, your honour," replied the clerk. 

" Ah, I suppose so ; a good time to sell ours, Peter : we must see 
about it on Saturday. But, pray, have you heard anything from the 
corporal since his departure r " 

" Not I, your honour, not I ; though I think as he might have 

fiven us a line, if it was only to thank me for mv care of his cat ; 
ut— 

' They as comes to go to roam, 
Thinks slight of they as stays at home.' " 

" A notable distich, Peter ; your own composition, I warrant." 
" Mine ! Lord love your honour, I has no genus, but I has 
memory ; and when them ere beautiful lines of poetry-like comes 
into my head, they stays there, and stays till they pops out at 



EUGF.NK AHAM. »Bi 

my tongue like a bottle of ginger-beer. I do loves poetry, sir, 
specially the sacred." 

" "We know it,— we know it." 

" For there be summut in it," continued the clerk, " which 
smooths a man's heart like a clothes-brush, wipes away the dust 
and dirt, and sets all the nap right : and I thinks as how 'tis what 
a clerk of the parish ought to study, your honour." 

" Nothing better ; you speak like an oracle." 

" Now, sir, there be the corporal, honest man, what thinks him- 
self mighty clever, — but he has no soul for varse. Lord love ye, 
to see the faces he makes when I tells him a hymn or so $ 'tis quite 
wicked, your honour, — for that's what the heathen did, as you 
well know, sir. 

• And when I does discourse of things 
Most holy to their tribe, 
What does they do ? — they mocks at me, 
And makes my harp a gibe.' 

Tis not what J calls pretty, Miss Ellinor." 

"Certainly not, Peter; I wonder, with your talents for verse, 
you never indulge in a little satire against such perverse taste." 

" Satire ! what's that ? Oh, I knows ; what they writes in elec- 
tions. Why, miss, mayhap " here Peter paused, and winked 

significantly — " but the corporal 's a passionate man, you knows : 
but I could so sting him. — Aha ! we'll see, we'll see. Do you 
know, your honour," — here Peter altered his air to one of serious 
importance, as if about to impart a most sagacious conjecture, 
"I thinks there be one reason why the corporal has not written 
to me." 

" And what's that, Peter ? " 

" 'Cause, your honour, he's ashamed of his writing : I fancy as 
how his spelling is no better than it should be, — but mum's the 
word. You sees, your honour, the corporal 's got a tarn for con- 
versation-like ; he be a mighty fine talker, surely ! but he be shy 
of the pen ; 'tis not every man what talks biggest what's the best 
schollard at bottom. Why, there's the newspaper I saw in the 
market (for I always sees the newspaper once a week) says as how 
some of them great speakers in the parliament house are uo better 
than ninnies when they gets upon paper ; and that's the corporal's 
case I sispect : I suppose as how they can't spell all them ere long 
words they make use on. For my part, I think there be mortal 
desate (deceit) like in that ere public speaking ; for 1 knows how 
far a loud voice and a bold face goes, even in buying a cow, your 
honour ; and I'm afraid the country's greatly bubbled in that ere 
partiklar ; for if a man can't write down clearly what he means for 
to say, I does not thinks as how he knows what he means when he 
goes for to speak ! " 

This speech — quite a moral exposition from Peter, and, doubt- 
less, inspired by his visit to market — for what wisdom cannot 
come from intercourse ? — our good publioan delivered with espe- 
cial solemnity, giving a huge thump on the sides of his ass as he 
concluded. 



192 ETFaEWE ASAST 

" Upon my word, Peter," said Lester, laughing, " you ha re 
grown quite a Solomon ; and, instead of a clerk, you ought to be a 
justice of the peace at the least ; and, indeed, I must say that I think 
you shine more in the capacity of a lecturer than in that of a 
soldier." 

" 'Tis not for a clerk of the parish to have too great a knack at 
the weapons of the flesh," said Peter, sanctimoniously, and turning 
aside to conceal a slight confusion at the unlucky reminiscence of 
his warlike exploits ; " but lauk, sir, even as to that, why, we has 
frightened all the robbers away. What would you have us do 
more ? " 

" Upon my word, Peter, you say right ; and now good day. Your 
wife's well; I hope ? And Jacobina (is not that the cat's name ?) in 
high health and favour ? " 

"Hem, hem! why, to be sure, the cat's a good cat; but she 
steals Goody Truman's cream as Goody sets for butter, reg'larly 
every night;" 

"Oh! you must cure her of that," said Lester, smiling. "I 
hope that's the worst fault." 

" Why, your gardener do say," replied Peter, reluctantly, " as 
how she goes arter the pheasants in Copsehole." 

" The deuce ! " cried the squire ; " that will never do : she must 
be shot, Peter, she must be shot. My pheasants ! my best pre- 
serves ! and poor Goody Truman's cream, too ! a perfect devil ! 
Look to it, Peter ; if I hear any complaints again, Jacobina is done 
for. — What are you laughing at, Nell ?" 

"Well, go thy ways, Peter, for a shrewd man and a clever 
man ; it is not every one who could so suddenly have elicited my 
father's compassion for Goody Truman's cream." 

" Pooh ! " said the squire : " a pheasant's a serious thing, child ; 
but you women don't understand matters." 

They had now crossed through the village into the fields, and 
were slowly sauntering by 

" Hedge-row elms on hillocks green," 

when, seated under a stunted pollard, they came suddenly on the 
ill-favoured person of Dame Darkmans. She sat bent (with her 
elbows on her knees, and her hands supporting her chin), looking 
up to the clear autumnal sky; and as they approached, she did 
not stir, or testify by sign or glance that she even perceived 
them. 

There is a certain kind-hearted sociability of temper that you see 
sometimes among country gentlemen, especially not of the highest 
rank, who knowing, and looked up to by, every one immediately 
around them, acquire the habit of accosting all they meet — a habit 
as painful for them to break, as it was painful for poor Eousseau to 
be asked " how he did " by an apple-woman. And the kind old 
squire could not pass even Goody Darkmans (coming thus abruptly 
upon her) without a salutation. 

"All alone, dame, enjoying the fine weather? — that's right 
And how fares it with you ? * 



l.COF.NE AKAM. 193 

The old woman turned round her dark and bleared eyes, but 
without moving limb or posture. 

""lis well-nigh winter how; 'tis not easy for poor folks to 
fare well at this time o' year. Where bo we to get the firewood, 
and the clothing, and the dry bread, carse it ! and the drop o' stuff 
that's to keep out the cold? Ah, it's fine for you to ask how we 
Joes, and the days shortening', and the air sharpening." 

" Well, dame, shall I send to • for a warm cloak for you?" 

said Madeline. 

" Ho ! thankye, young lady — thankye kindly, and I '11 wear it at 
your widding, for they says you be going to git married to the 
larned man yander. Wish ye well, ma'am ; wish yc well." 

And the old hag grinned as she uttered this benediction, that 
sounded on her lips like the Lord's Prayer on a witch's ; which 
converts the devotion to a crime, and the prayer to a curse. 

" Ye 're very winsome, young lady," she continued, eyeing 
Madeline's tall and rounded figure from head to foot. "Yes, 
very ; but I was as bonny as you once, and if you lives— mind that 
— fair and happy as you stand now, you'll be as withered, and 
foul-faced, and wretched as me. Ha ! ha ! I loves to look on young 
folk and think o' that. But mayhap ye won't live to be old — 
more's the pity ! for ye might be a widow, and childless, and a lone 
'oman, as I be ; if you were to see sixty : an' wouldn't that be 
nice ? — ha ! ha ! — much pleasure ye'd have in the fine weather 
then, and in people's fine speeches, eh ?" 

"Come, dame," said Lester, with a cloud on his benign brow, 
' ' this talk is ungratefid to me, and disrespectful to Miss Lester ; it 
is not the way to " 

" Hout ! " interrupted the old woman ; " I begs pardon, sir, if I 
offended — I begs pardon, young lady : 'tis my way, poor old soul 
that I be. And you meant me kindly, and I would not be uncivil, 
now you are a-going to give me a bonny cloak ; and what colour 
shall it be?" 

" Why, what colour woul I you like best, dame — red ?" 

" Eed ! no ! like a gipsy-. ^lean, indeed ! Besides, they all has 
red cloaks in the village, yonder. No ; a handsome dark grey, or 
a gav, cheersome black, an' then I'll dance in mourning at your 
wedding, young lady ; and that's what ye'U like. But what ha' 
ye done with the merry bridegroom, ma'am ? Gone away, I hear. 
Ah, ye'll have a happy life on it, with a gentleman like him. I 
never seed him laugh once. Why does not he hire me as your 
sarvant ; would not I be a favourite, thin? I'd stand on the 
thrishold, and give ye good morrow every day. Oh ! it dors me a 
deal of good to say a blessing to them as be younger and gayer 
than me. Madge Darkman's blessing ! Och ! what a thing to 
wish for!" 

" Well, good day, mother," said Lester, moving on. 

" Stay a bit, stay a bit, sir ; has ye any commands, miss, yonder, 
at Master Aram's? His old 'oman's a gossip of mind; we were 
young togither ; and the lads did not know which to like the best. 
So we often meets and talks of the old times. 1 be going up there 



194 EUGENE A.KAM. 

now. Och ! I tope I shall be asked to the wielding. And what a 
nice month to wid in ! Novimber, Novimber, that's the merry 
month for me ! But 'tis cold — bitter cold too. Well, good day, 
good day. Ay," continued the hag, as Lester and the sisters moved 
on, " ye all goes and throws niver a look behind. Ye despises the 
poor in voui hearts. But the poor will have their day. Och ! an' 
I wish ye wt re dead, dead, dead, an' I dancing in my bonny black 
cloak about your graves ; for an't all mine dead, cold, cold, rotting, 
and one kind and rich man might ha' saved them all ?" 

Thus mumbling, the wretched creature looked after the father 
and his daughters, as they wound onward, till her dim eyes caught 
them no longer ; and then, drawing her rags round her, she rose, 
and struck into the opposite path, that led to Aram's house. 

" I hope that hag will be no constant visitor at your futare 
residence, Madeline," said the younger sister ; " it would be like a 
blight on the air." 

" And if we could remove her from the parish," said Lester, " it 
would be a happy day for the village. Yet, strange as it may seem, 
so great is her power over them all, that there is never a marriage 
nor a christening in the village from which she is absent ; they 
dread her spite and foul tongue enough, to make them even ask 
humbly for her presence." 

"And the hag seems to know that her bad qualities are a good 
policy, and obtain more respect than amiability would do," said 
Ellinor. " I think there is some design in all she utters." 

" I don't know how it is, but the words and sight of that woman 
have struck a damp into my heart," said Madeline, musingly. 

"It would be wonderful if they had not, child," said Lester, 
soothingly ; and he changed the conversation to other topics. 

As, concluding their walk, they re-entered the village, they 
encountered that most welcome of all visitants to a country village, 
the postman — a tall, thin pedestrian, famous for swiftness of foot, 
with a cheerful face, a swinging gait, and Lester's bag slung over 
his shoulder. Our little party quickened their pace — one letter — 
for Madeline — Aram's handwriting. Happy blush — bright smile ! 
Ah ! no meeting ever gives the delight that a letter can inspire in 
the short absences of a first love ! 

"And none for me!" said Lester, in a disappointed tone, and 
Ellinoi's hand hung more heavily on his arm, and her step moved 
slower. " It is very strange in Walter ; but I am really more angry 
than alarmed." 

" Be sure," said Ellinor, after a pause, "that it is not his fault. 
Something may have happened to him. Good Heavens ! if he has 
been attacked again — those fearful highwaymen ! " 

" Nay," said Lester, " the most probable supposition after all is, 
that he will not write until his expectations are realized or destroyed. 
Natural enough, too ; it is what I should have done, if I had been in 
iis place." 

" Natural ! " said Ellinor, who now attacked where she before 
defended — " Natural not to give us one line, to say he is well and 
safe ! Natural ! I oould not have been so remiss ! ' 



ECflEMi ARAM. 195 

" Ay, child, you women are so fond of writing ; 'tis not so with 
us, especially when we are moving about : — it is always, — ' Well. 
I must write to-morrow— well, I must write when this is settled — 
well, I must write when I arrive at such a place ; ' — and, meanwhile, 
time slips on, till perhaps we set ashamed of writing at all. I heard 
a great man say once, that ' Men must have something effeminate 
about them to be good correspondents ; ' and faith, I think it's true 
enough on the whole." 

" 1 wonder if Madeline thinks so ? " said Ellinor, enviously 
glancing at her sister's absorption, as, lingering a little behind, she 
devoured the contents of her letter. 

" He is coming home immediately, dear father ; perhaps lie may 
be here to-morrow," cried Madeline, abruptly ; " think of that, 
Ellinor ! Ah ! and he writes in spirits ! " — and the poor girl 
clapped her hands delightedly, as the colour danced joyously over 
her cheek and neck. 

"lam glad to hear it," quoth Lester ; " we shall have him at last 
beat even Ellinor in gaiety ! " 

" That may easily be," sighed Ellinor to herself, as she glided 
past them into the house, and sought her own chamber. 



CHAPTER V. 

A REFLECTION NEW AND STRANGE.— THE STREETS OF LONDON.— A 
GREAT MAN'S LIBRARY. — A CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE STUDENT 
AND AN ACQUAINTANCE OF THE READER'S. — ITS RESULT. 



Here's a statesman ! 
***** 

Rolla. Ask for thyself. 

Lit. What more can concern me than this f 

The Tragedy of Soil: 



Ix was an evening in the declining autumn of 1758 ; some public 
ceremony had occurred during the day, and the crowd which it 
h:.d assembled was only now gradually lessening, as the shadows 
darker, ed along the streets. Through this crowd, self-absorbed as 
usual -with them, not one of them — Eugene Aram slowly wound 
his uncompanioned way. What an incalculable field of dread and 
sombre contemplation is opened to every man who, with his heart 
disengaged from himself, and his eyes accustomed to the sharp 
observance of his tribe, walks through the streets of a great city ! 
What a world of dark and troubled secrets in the breast of every 
one who hurries by you ! Goethe has said somewhere that each of 
us, the best as the worst, hides within him something — some feel- 
ing, some remembrance that, if known, would make you hate him. 
No doubt the saying is exaggerated ; but stilly what a gloomy and 
profound sublimity in the idea ! — what a new insight it gives into 

3 



. <*C EUGENE AEAM. 

"he hearts of the common herd — with what a strange interest it 
may inspire us for the humblest, the tritest passenger that shoulders 
as in the great thoroughfare of life ! One of the greatest pleasures 
in the world is to walk alone, and at night (while they are yet 
crowded), through the long lamp-lit streets of this huge metropolis : 
There, even more than in the silence of woods and fields, seems to 
me the source of endless, various meditation. 

" Crescit enim cum amplitudine rerum vis ragenii." * 

There was that in Aram's person which irresistibly commanded 
attention. The earnest composure of his countenance, its thought- 
ful paleness, the long hair falling back, the peculiar and estranged 
air of his whole figure, accompanied as it was by a _ mildness of 
expression, and that lofty abstraction which characterises one who 
is a brooder over his own heart — a soothsayer to his own dreams ; 
— all these arrested from time to time the second gaze of the pas- 
senger, and forced on him the impression, simple as was the dress, 
and unpretending as was the gait of the stranger, that in indulging 
that second gaze he was in all probability satisfying the curiosity 
which makes us love to fix our regard upon any remarkable man. 

At length Aram turned from the more crowded streets, and in a 
short time paused before one of the most princely houses in London. 
It was surrounded by a spacious courtyard, and over the porch 
the arms of the owner, with the coronet and supporters, were raised 
in stone. 

" Is Lord within r " asked Aram of the bluff porter who 

appeared at the gate. 

" My lord is at dinner," replied the porter, thinking the answer 
quite sufficient, and about to reclose the gate upon the unseasonable 
visitor. 

"lam glad to find he is at home," rejoined Aram, gliding past 
the servant with an air of quiet and unconscious command, and 
passing the courtyard to the main building. 

At the door of the house, to which you ascended by a flight of 
stone steps, the valet of the nobleman — the only nobleman intro- 
duced in our tale, and consequently the same whom we have pre- 
sented to our reader in the earlier part of this work — happened to 
be lounging and enjoying the smoke of the evening air. High- 
bred, prudent, and sagacious, Lord knew well how often great 

men, especially in public life, obtain odium for the rudeness of 
their domestics ; and all those, especially about himself, had been 
consequently tutored into the habits of universal courtesy and 
deference, to the lowest stranger as well as to the highest guest. 
And trifling as this may seem, it was an act of morality as well as 
of prudence. Few can guess what pain may be saved to poor and 
proud men of merit by a similar precaution. The valet, therefore, 
replied to the visitor's inquiry with great politeness ; he recollected 
Aram's name and repute ; and as the earl, taking delight in the 

* For the power of the intellect is increased by the amplitude of tie thing! 
tfsat feed it. 



KUQ.'vXE ARAM. 19T 

company of men of letters, was generally easv of access to all such 
— the great man's great man instantly conducted the student to 
the earl's library, and informing him that his lordship had not yet 
left the dining-room, where he was entertaining a large party, 
assured him that he should be apprised of Aram's visit the moment 
he did so. 

Lord ■ was still in office ; sundry boxes were scattered oa the 

floor ; papers, that seemed countless, lay strewed over the immense 
library table ; but here and there were books of a more seductive 
character than those of business, in which the mark lately set, and 
the pencilled note still fresh, showed the fondness with which men. 
of cultivated minds, though engaged in official pursuits, will turn 
in the momentary intervals of more arid and toilsome life to those 
lighter studies, which perhaps they in reality the most enjoy. 

One of these books, a volume of Shaftesbury, Aram carefully 
took up ; it opened of its own accord at that most beautiful and 
profound passage, which contains perhaps the justest sarcasm to 
which that ingenious and graceful reasoner has given vent : — 

" The very spirit of Faction, for the greatest part, seems to be 
no other than the abuse of irregularity of that social love and 
common affection which is natural to mankind — for the opposite of 
sociableness is selfishness ; and of all characters, the thorough 
selfish one is the least forward in taking party. The men of this 
sort are, in this respect, true men of moderation. They are secure 
of their temper, and possess themselves too well to be in danger of 
entering warmly into any cause, or engaging deeply with any side 
or faction." 

On the margin of the page was the following note, in the hand- 
writing of Lord : — 

" Generosity hurries a man into party — philosophy keeps him 
aloof from it ; the Emperor Julian says in his epistle to Themistius, 
' If you should form only three or four philosophers, you would 
contribute more essentially to the happiness of mankind than many 
kings united.' Yet, if all men were philosophers, I doubt whether, 
though more men would be virtuous, there would be so many in- 
stances of an extraordinary virtue. The violent passions produce 
dazzling irregularities." 

The student was still engaged with this note when the earl 
entered the room. As the door through which he passed was 
behind Aram, and he trod with a soft step, he was not perceived 
by the scholar till he had reached him, and, looking over Aram's 
shoulder, the earl said : " You will dispute the truth of my remark, 
will you not r Profound calm is the element in "which you would 
place all the virtues." 

" Not all, my lord," answered Aram, rising, as the earl now 
shook him by the hand, and expressed his delight at seeing the 
student again. Though the sagacious nobleman had no sooner 
heard the student's name, than, in his own heart, he was convinced 
that Aram had sought him for the purpose of soliciting a renewal 
of the offers he had formerly refused ; he resolved to leave hia 
visitor to open the subject himself, and appeared courteously ta 



ii)8 RTttKNK AKAM. 

consider the visit as a matter of course, made without any other 
object than the renewal of the mutual pleasure of intercourse. 

" I am afraid, my lord," said Aram. " that you are engaged. 
My visit can be paid to-morrow if — — " 

" Indeed," said the earl, interrupting him, and drawing a chair 
to the table, " I have no engagements which should deprive me of 
the pleasure of your company. A few friends have indeed dined 

with me, but as they are now with Lady , I do not think they 

will greatly miss me ; besides, an occasional absence is readily 
forgiven in us happy men of office ; — we, who have the honour of 
exciting the envy of all England, for being made magnificently 
wretched." 

" I am glad you allow so much, my lord," said Aram, smiling : 
" I could not have said more. Ambition only makes a favourite to 

make an ingrate ; — she has lavished her honours on Lord , and 

hear how he speaks of her bounty ! " 

" Nay," said the earl, " I spoke wantonly, and stand corrected. 
I have no reason to complain of the course I have chosen. Am- 
bition, like any other passion, gives us unhappy moments ; but it 
gives us also an animated life. In its pursuit, the minor evils of 
the world are not felt : little crosses, little vexations do not disturb 
us. Like men who walk in sleep, we are absorbed in one powerful 
dream, and do not even know the obstacles in our way, or the 
dangers that surround us : in a word, we have no private life. All 
that is merely domestic, the anxiety and the loss which fret other 
men, which blight the happiness of other men, are not felt by us : 
we are wholly public ; so that if we lose much comfort, we escape 
much care." 

The earl broke off for a moment ; and then turning the subject, 
inquired after the Lesters, and making some general and vague 
observations about that family, came purposely to a pause. 

Aram broke it :— 

" My lord," said he, with a slight, but not ungraceful, em- 
barrassment, " I fear that, in the course of your political life, you 
must have made one observation, — that he who promises to-day, 
will be called upon to perform to-morrow. No man who has 
anything to bestow, can ever promise with impunity. Some time 
since, you tendered me offers that would have dazzled more ardent 
natures than mine ; and which I might have advanced some claim 
to philosophy in refusing. I do not now come to ask a renewal of 
those offers. Public life, and the haunts of men, are as hateful 
as ever to my pursuits : but I come, frankly and candidly, to 
throw myself on that generosity, which proffered to me then 
so large a bounty. Certain circumstances have taken from me 
the small pittance which supplied my wants ; — I require only 
ihe power to pursue my quiet and obscure career of study — 
your lordship can afford me that power: it is not against 
custom for the government to gTant some small annuity to men 
of letters — your lordship's interest could obtain me this favour. 
Let me ado, however, that I can offer nothing in return ! Party 
politics — sectarian interests — are for ever dead to me: even my 



EUGENE AKAM. 199 

common studies are of small general utility to mankind. I am 
conscious of this — would it were otherwise ! — Once I hoped it would 

be — but " Aram here turned deadly pale, gasped for breath, 

mastered his emotion, and proceeded — "I have no great claim, 
then, to this bounty, beyond that which all poor cultivators of the 
abstruse sciences can advance. It is well for a country that those 
sciences should be cultivated ; they are not of a nature which is 
ever lucrative to the possessor — not of a nature that can often be 
left, like lighter literature, to the fair favour of the public ; — they 
call, perhaps, more than any species of intellectual culture, for the 
protection of a government ; and though in me would be a poor 
selection, the principle would still be served, and the example 
furnish precedent for nobler instances hereafter. I have said all, 
my lord." 

Nothing perhaps more affects a man of some sympathy with those 
who cultivate letters, than the pecuniary claims of one who can 
advance them with justice, and who advances them also with dig- 
nity. If the meanest, the most pitiable, the most heart-sickening 
object in the world, is the man of letters, sunk into the habitual 
beggar, practising the tricks, incurring the rebuke, glorying in the 
shame, of the mingled mendicant and swindler; — what, on the 
other hand, so touches, so subdues us, as the first and only petition, 
of one whose intellect dignifies our whole kind ; and who prefers it 
with a certain haughtiness in his very modesty ; because, in asking 
a favor to himself, he may be only asking the power to enlighten 
the world ? 

" Say no more, sir," said the earl, affected deeply, and gracefully 
saving way to the feeling; "the affair is settled. Consider it so. 
Name only the amount of the annuity you desire." 

With some hesitation Aram named a sum so moderate, so trivial, 
that the minister, accustomed as he was to the claims of younger 
sons and widowed dowagers — accustomed to the hungry cravings 
of petitioners without merit, who considered birth the only just 
title to the right of exactions from the public — was literally startled 
by the contrast. "More than this," added Aram, "I do not 
require, and would decline to accept. We have some right to 
claim existence from the administrators of the common stock — 
none to claim affluence." 

" Would to Heaven ! " said the earl, smiling, " that all claimants 
were like you ; pension-lists would not then call for indignation ; 
and ministers would not blush to support the justice of the favours 
they conferred. But are you still firm in rejecting a more public 
career, with all its deserved emoluments and just honours ? The 
offer I made you once I renew with increased avidity now." 
" ' Despiciam dites,'" answered Aram, "and, thanks to you, I 
may add, ' despiciamque famem.' "* 

* " ' Let me despise wealth,' and, thanks to yon, I may add, ' and let me look 
■own on famine.' " 



2<K> KUOXNK JkiiAM. 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE THAMES AT NIGHT— A THOUGHT.— THE STUDENT BESEEKS THB 
itUFFIA*".— A HUMAN FEELING EVEN IN THE WOEST SOH,. 



Clem. 'Tis our last interview ! 

Slat. Pray Heav'n it be ! — Clemanthu. 



On leaving Lord s, Aram proceeded, with a lighter and 

more rapid step, towards a less courtly quarter of the metropolis. 

He had found, on arriving in London, that in order to secure the 
annual sum promised to Houseman, it had been necessary to strip 
himself even of the small stipend he had hoped to retain. And 

hence his visit, and hence his petition, to Lord ■ . He now 

bent his way to the spot in which Houseman had appointed their 
meeting. To the fastidious reader these details of pecuniary 
matters, so trivial in themselves, may be a little wearisome, and 
j seem a little undignified ; but we are writing a romance 
o- tual life, and the reader must take what is homely with what 
may be more epic — the pettiness and the wants of the daily 
world, with its loftier sorrows and its grander crimes. Besides, 
who knows how darkly just may be that moral which shows us a 
nature originally high, a soul once all a-thirst for truth, bowed 
(by what events ?) to the manoeuvres and the lies of the worldly 
hypocrite ? 

The night had now closed in, and its darkness was only relieved 
by the wan lamps that vistaed the streets, and a few dim stars that 
struggled through the reeking haze that curtained the great city. 
Aram had now gained one of the bridges " that arch the royal 
Thames," and, in no time dead to scenic attraction, he there 
paused for a moment, and looked along the dark river that rushed 
below. 

Oh, God ! how many wild and stormy hearts have stilled them- 
selves on that spot, for one dread instant of thought — of calculation 
— of resolve — one instant, the last of life ! Look at night along 
the course of that stately river, how gloriously it seems to mock the 
passions of them that dwell beside it. Unchanged — unchanging- 
all around it qiiick death, and troubled life ; itself smiling up to 
the grey stars, and singing from its deep heart as it bounds along. 
Beside it is the senate, proud of its solemn triflers ; and there the 
cloistered tomb, in which, as the loftiest honour, some handful of 
the fiercest of the stragglers may gain forgetfulness and a grave ! 
There is no moral to a great city like the river that washes its 
walls. 

There was something in the view before him, that suggested 
reflections similar to these to the strange and mysterious breast of 



ECGENE A HAM 201 

the lingering student. A solemn dejection crept over hiin, a 
warning voice sounded on his ear, the fearful genius within him 
was aroused, and even in the moment when his triumph seemed 
complete and his safety secured, he felt it only as— 

" The torrent's smoothness ere it dash below." 

The mist obscured and saddened the few lights scattered on either 
side the water ; and a deep and gloomy quiet brooded round : — 

" The very houses seemed asleep, 
Arid all that mighty heart was lying still." 

Arousing himself from his short and sombre reverie, Aram 
resumed his way, and threading some of the smaller streets on the 
opposite side of the water, arrived at last in the street in which he 
was to seek Houseman. 

It was a narrow and dark lane, and seemed altogether of a sus- 
picious and disreputable locality. One or two samples of the lowest 
description of alehouses broke the dark silence of the spot ;— from 
them streamed the only lights which assisted the single lamp that 
burned at the entrance of the alley ; and bursts of drunken laughter 
and obscene merriment broke out every now and then from these 
wretched theatres of Pleasure. As Aram passed one of them, a 
crowd of the lowest order of ruffian and harlot issued noisily from 
the door, and suddenly obstructed his way : through this vile press, 
reeking with the stamp and odour of the most repellent character 
of vice, was the lofty and cold student to force his path ! The 
darkness, his quick step, his downcast head, favoured his escape 
through the unhallowed throng, and he now stood opposite tne- 
door of a small and narrow house. A ponderous knocker adorned 
the door, which seemed of uncommon strength, being thickly 
studded with large nails. He knocked twice before his summons 
was answered, and then a voice from within cried, " Who's there r 
"What want you 5 " 

" I seek one called Houseman." 

Xo answer was returned — some moments elapsed. Again the 
student knocked, and presently he heard the voice of Houseman 
himself call out — 

" "Who's there — Joe the cracksman?" 

" Kiehard Houseman, it is I," answered Aram, in a deep tone, 
and suppressing the natural feelings of loathing and abhoirence. 

Houseman uttered a quick exclamation, the door was hastily 
unbarred. All within was iittcrly dark ; but Aram felt with a 
thrill of repugnance the gripe of his strange acquaintance on his 
hand. 

" Ha ! it is you ! — Come in, come in ! — let me lead you. Have a 
care — elin;, r to the wall — the right hand — now then — stay No — so 
— (opening tho door of the room, in which a single candle, well 
nigh in its socket, broke on the previous darkness) ; here we are ! 
here we are ! And how goes it — eh ? " 

Houseman now bustling about, did tho honours of his apartment: 
with a sort of complacent hospitality. He drew two rough wooden 



202 EUGENE ABA*. 

chairs, that in some late merriment seemed to have been upset, and 
lay, cumbering' the unwashed and carpetless floor, in a position 
exactly contrary to that destined them by their maker ; — he drew 
these chairs near a table strewed with drinking horns, half-emptied 
bottles, and a pack of cards. Dingy caricatures of the large coarse 
fashion of the day, decorated the walls ; and carelessly thrown on 
another table, lay a pair of huge horse-pistols, an immense shovel 
hat, a false moustache, a rouge-pot, and a riding-whip. All this 
the student comprehended with a rapid glance — his lip quivered 
for a moment — whether with shame or scorn of himself, and then 
throwing himself on the chair Houseman had set for him, he said — 

" I have come to discharge my part of our agreement." 

" You are most welcome," replied Houseman, with that tone of 
coarse, yet flippant jocularity, which afforded to the mien and 
manner of Aram a still stronger contrast than his more unrelieved 
brutality. 

" There," said Aram, giving him a paper ; " there you will per- 
ceive that the sum mentioned is secured to you, the moment you 
quit this country. When shall that be ? Let me entreat haste." 

" Your prayer shall be granted. Before daybreak to-morrow, I 
will be on the road." 

Aram's face brightened. 

" There is my hand upon it," said Houseman, earnestly. " You 
may now rest assured that you are free of me for life. Go home — 
marry — enjoy your existence, as I have done. "Within four days, 
if the wind set fair, I am in France." 

" My business is done ; I will believe you," said Aram, frankly 
and rising. 

" You may," answered Houseman. " Stay — I will light you to 
the door. Devil and death — how the d — d candle flickers ! " 

Across the gloomy passage, as the candle now flared — and now 
was dulled — by quick fits and starts, — Houseman, after this brief 
conference, reconducted the student. And as Aram turned from 
the door, he flung his arms wildly aloft, and exclaimed, in the 
voice of one, from whose heart a load is lifted, — " Now, now for 
Madeline ! I breathe freely at last ! " 

Meanwhile Houseman turned musingly back, and regained his 
room, muttering — 

"Yes — yes — my business here is also done ! Competence and 
safety abroad — after all, what a bugbear is this conscience ! — four- 
teen years have rolled away — and lo ! nothing discovered ! nothing 
known ! And easy circumstances — the very consequence of the 
deed — wait the remainder of my days : my child too — my Jane- 
shall not want — shall not be a beggar nor a harlot." 

So musing, Houseman threw himself contentedly on the chair, 
and the last flicker of the expiring light, as it played upward on 
his rugged countenance, rested on one of those self-hugging smiles, 
with which a sanguine man contemplates a satisfactory future. 

He had not been long alone before the door opened, and a woman 
with a light in her hand appeared. She was evidently intoxicated, 
and approached Houseman with a reeling and unsteady step. 



KCttKNE AKAM SOS 

' How now, Bess? dnmk as usual ! Get to bed, you she shark, 



go 

t " Tush, man, tush ! don't talk to your betters," said the woman, 
sinking- into a chair ; and her situation, disgusting as it was, could 
not conceal the striking, though somewhat coarse beauty of her face 
and person. 

Even Houseman (his heart being opened, as it were, by the 
cheering prospects of which his soliloquy had indulged the contem- 
plation), wns sensible of the effect of the mere physical attraction, 
and drawing his chair closer to her, he said in a tone less harsh 
than usual — 

" Come, Bess, come, you must correct that d — d habit of yours ; 
perhaps I may make a lady of you after all. What if I were to let 
you take atrip with me to France, old girl, eh ; and let you set ofl 
that handsome face — for you are devilish handsome, and that's the 
truth of it — with some of the French gewgaws you women love ? 
What if I were ? would you be a good girl, eh ? " 

" I think I would, Dick, — I think I would," replied the woman, 
showing a set of teeth as white as ivory, with pleasure partly at 
the flattery, partly at the proposition: ''you are a good fellow. 
Dick, that you are." 

" Humph !" said Houseman, whose hard, shrewd mind was not 
e asily cajoled ; " but what's that paper in your bosom, Bess ? A 
love-letter, I'll swear." 

" 'Tis to you then ; came to you this morning, only somehow or 
other, I forgot to give it you till now ! " 

" Ha ! a letter to me ! " said Houseman, seizing the epistle in 
question. " Hem ! the Knaresbro' postmark — my mother-in-law's 
irabbed hand, too ! what can the old crone want?" 

He opened the letter, and hastily scanning its contents, 
started up. 

"Mercy, mercy!" cried he, "my child is ill — dying. I may 
never see her again, — my only child, — the only thing that eves 
me, — that does not loathe me as a villain ! " 

" Heydey, Dicky ! " said the woman, clinging to him, " don't 
take on so ; who so fond of you as me ? — what s a brat like that ?" 

"Curse on you, hag!" exclaimed Houseman, dashing her to 
the ground with a rude brutality : " you love me ! Pah ! My 
child — my little Jane, — my pretty Jane — my merry Jane — my 
innocent Jane — I will seek her instantly — instantly ! What's 
money ? what's ease, — if — if " 

Aua the father, wretch, ruffian as he was, stung to the core of 
that last redeeming feeling of his dissolute nature, struck his 
breast with hi" clenched hand, and rushed from the room— from 
the houie. 



204 EUttKNK AK&M. 



CHAPTER VII 

1!A1>EL1SK, HEE 1IOPE9.— A MILD AUTUMN CHABACTEBISHD.— A 

LANDSCAPE.— A BETUBN. 



Tis late and cold— stir up the fire 
Sit close, and draw the table nigher 
Be merry, and drink wine that's old, 
A hearty medicine 'gainst a cold : 
Welcome — welcome shall fly round ! 
Beaumont and Fletcher : Song in. the " Lover's Progress.' 



As when the great poet, 

" Escaped the Stygian pool, though long detain'd 
In that obscure sojourn ; while, in his flight, 
Through utter and through middle darkness oorne, 
He sang of chaos and eternal night :" — 

as when, revisiting the " holy light, offspring of heaven first-born," 
the sense of freshness and glory breaks upon him, and kindles into 
the solemn joyfuiness of adjuring song ; so rises the mind from 
the contemplation of the gloom and guilt of life, " the utter and 
the middle darkness," to some pure and bright redemption of our 
nature — some creature of " the starry threshold," " the regions 
mild of calm and serene air."_ Never was a nature more beautiful 
and soft than that of Madeline Lester — never a nature more in- 
clined to live " above the smoke and stir of this dim spot, which 
men call earth " — to commune with its own high and chaste cre- 
ations of thought — to make a world out of the emotions which this 
•world knows not — a paradise, which sin, and suspicion, and fear, 
had never vet invaded — where God might recognise no evil, and 
angels forebode no change. 

Aram's return was now daily, nay, even hourly, expected. No- 
thing disturbed the soft, though thoughtful serenity, with which 
his betrothed relied upon the future. Aram's letters had been more 
deeply impressed with the evidence of love, than even his spoken 
vows ; those letters had diffused not so much an agitated joy, as 
a full and mellow light of happiness over her heart. Everything, 
even nature, seemed inclined to smile with approbation on her 
hopes. The autumn had never, in the memory of man, worn se- 
lovely a garment ; the balmy and freshening warmth which some- 
times characterises that period of the year was not broken, as yet, 
by the chilling winds, or the sullen mists, which speak to us so 
mournfully of the change that is creeping over the beautiful world. 
The summer visitants among the feathered tribe yet lingered in 
flocks, showing no intention of departure ; and their song — but 
above all, the song of the skylark — which, to the old English poet^ 



KCUi:XK ARAM. "J05 

was what the nightingale is to the Eastern — seemed even to grow 
more cheerful as the sun shortened his daily task ; the very mul- 
berry-tree, and the rich boughs of the horse-chestnut, retained 
something of their verdure ; and the thousand glories of the wood- 
land around Grassdale were still chequered with the golden hues 
that herald, but beautify, decay. Still no news had been received of 
"Walter : and this was the only source of anxiety that troubled the 
domestic happiness of the Manor House. But the squire continued 
to remember that in youth he himself had been but a negligent 
correspondent ; and the anxiety he felt had lately assumed rather 
the character of anger at Walter's forgetfulness, than of fear for 
his safety. There were moments when Ellinor silently mourned 
and pined ; but she loved her sister not less even than her cousin ; 
and in the prospect of Madeline's happiness did not too often 
question the future respecting her own. 

One evening the sisters were sitting at their work by the window 
of the little parlour, and talking over various matters : of which 
the Great World, strange as it may seem, never made a part. 

They conversed in a low tone ; for Lester sat by the hearth, in 
which a wood tire had been just kindled, and appeared to have 
fallen into an afternoon slumber. The sun was sinking to repose, 
and the whole landscape lay before them bathed in light, till a 
cloud passing overhead darkened the heavens just immediately 
above them, and one of those beautiful sun-showers, that rather 
characterise the spring than autumn, began to fall ; the rain was 
rather sharp, and descended with a pleasant and freshening noise 
through the boughs, all shining in the sunlight : it did not, how- 
ever, last long, and presently there sprang up the glorious rain- 
bow, and the voices of the birds, which a minute before were mute, 
burst into a general chorus, — the last hymn of the declining day. 
The sparkling drops fell fast and gratefully from the trees, and 
over the whole scene there breathed an inexpressible sense of 
gladness, — 

" The odour and the harmony of eve." 

"How beautiful!" said Ellinor, pausing from her work. 
" Ah, see tie squirrel — is that our pet one ?— he is coming close 
to the window, poor fellow ! Stay, I will get him some bread." 

" Hush ! " said Madeline, half rising, and turning quite pale ; 
" do you hear a step without?" 

" Only the dripping of the boughs," answered Ellinor. 

" No, no — it is he ! — it is he ! " cried Madeline, the blood rush- 
ing back vividly to her cheeks. " I know his step ! " 

And — yes — winding round the house till he stood opposite the 
window, the sisters now beheld Eugene Aram : the diamond rain 
glittered on the locks of his long hair ; his cheeks were flushed by 
exercise, or more probably the joy of return ; a smile, in which 
there was no shade or sadness, played over his features, which 
caught also a fictitious semblance of gladness from the rays of the 
setting sun, which fell full upon them. 

** My Madeline ! my love ! my Madeline ! " broke from his lipa. 



206 EUGENE AUAM. 

" You are returned — thank God — thank God — safe — well ?" 
" And happy !" added Aram, with a deep meaning in the tone 
of his voice. 

"Heyday, heyday!" cried the squire, starting up, "what's 
this ? Bless me, Eugene ! — wet through, too, seemingly ! Nell, 
run and open the door — more wood on the fire — the pheasants for 
supper — and stay, girl, stay — there's the key of the cellar — the 
twenty-one port — you know it. Ah ! ah ! God willing, Eugene 
Aram shall not complain of his welcome back to Grassdale ! " 



CHAPTER VIII. 

AFFECTION: ITS GODLIKE NATUEE.— THE CONVERSATION BETWEEN 
ARAM AND MADELINE— THE FATALIST FOEGETS FATE. 



Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that, 
And manage it against despairing thoughts. 

Two Gentlemen of Verona. 



If there be anything thoroughly lovely in the human heart, it is 
affection ! All that makes hope elevated, or fear generous, be- 
longs to the capacity of loving. For my own part, I do not wonder, 
in looking over the thousand creeds and sects of men, that so many 
religionists have traced their theology — that so many moralists 
have wrought their system — from love. The errors thus origi- 
nated have something in them that charms us, even while we 
smile at the theology, or while we neglect the system. What a 
beautiful fabric would be human nature — what a divine guide 
would be human reason— if love were indeed the stratum of the 
one, and the inspiration of the other ! We are told of a picture by 
a great painter of old, in which an infant is represented sucking a 
mother wounded to the death, who, even in that agony, strives to 
prevent the child from injuring itself by imbibing the blood 
mingled with the milk.* How many emotions, that might have 
made us permanently wiser and better, have we lost in losing that 
picture ! 

Certainly, love assumes a more touching and earnest semblance, 
when we find it in some retired and sequestered hollow of the 
world; when it is not mixed up with the daily frivolities and 
petty emotions of which a life passed in cities is so necessarily 
composed : we cannot but believe it a deeper and a more absorbing 
passion ; perhaps we are not always right in the belief. 

Had one of that order of angels to whom a knowledge of the 
future, or the seraphic penetration into the hidden heart of man 
is forbidden, stayed his wings over the lovely valley in which the 
main scene of our history has been cast, no spectacle might have 

* " InteUigitur sentire mater et timere. ne £ mortuo lacte sanguinem lambat'" 



EUGENE A.EAM 207 

seemed to him more appropriate than that pastoral spot, or more 
elevated in the oharaoler of its tenderness above the fierce and 
short-lived passions of the ordinary world, than the love that 
existed between Madeline and her betrothed. Their natures seemed 
so suited to each other ! the solemn and undiurnal mood of the 
one was reflected back in hues so gentle, and yet so faithful, from 
the purer, but scarce less thoughtful, character of the other ! Their 
sympathies ran through the same channel, and mingled in a 
common fount ; and whatever was dark and troubled in the breast 
of Aram, was now suffered not to appear. Since his return, his 
mood was brighter and more tranquil ; and he seemed better fitted 
to appreciate and respond to the peculiar tenderness of Madeline's 
affection. There are some stars which, viewed by the naked eye, 
seem one, but in reality are two separate orbs revolving round 
each other, and drinking, each from each, a separate yet united 
existence :— such stars seemed a type of them. 

Had anything been wanting to complete Madeline's happiness, 
the change in Aram supplied the want. The sudden starts, the 
abrupt changes of mood and countenance, that had formerly 
characterised him, were now scarcely, if ever, visible. He seemed 
to have resigned himself with confidence to the prospects of the 
future, and to have forsworn the haggard recollections of the past : 
he moved, and looked, and smiled like other men ; he was alive 
to the little circumstances around him, and no longer absorbed in 
the contemplation of a separate and strange existence within him- 
self. Some scattered fragments of his poetry bear the date of this 
time : they are chiefly addressed to Madeline ; and, amidst the 
vows of love, a spirit, sometimes of a wild and bursting, sometimes 
of a profound and collected happiness, are visible. There is great 
beauty in many of these fragments, and they bear a stronger evi 
dence of heart — they breathe more of nature and truth, than the 
poetry that belongs of right to that time. 

And thus day rolled on day, till it was now the eve before their 
bridals. Aram had deemed it prudent to tell Lester that he had 
sold his annuity, and that he had applied to the earl for the 
pension which we have seen he had been promised. As to bis- 
supposed relation— the illness he had created he suffered now to 
cease ; and indeed the approaching ceremony gave him a graceful 
excuse for turning the conversation away from any topics that did 
not relate to Madeline or to that event. 

It was the eve before their marriage : Aram and Madeline were 
walking along the valley that led to the house of the former. 

" How lbrtunate it is," said Madeline, "that our future resi- 
dence will be so near my father's. I cannot tell you with what 
delight he looks forward to the pleasant circle we shall make. 
Indeed, I think he would scarcely have consented to our wedding, 
if it had separated us from him." 

Aram stopped, and plucked a flower. 

" Ah ! indeed, indeed, Madeline ! Yet in the course of the 
various changes of life, how more than probable it is that we shall 
be divided from him — that we skill leave this spot." 



iCS KXJGEME AEAM. 

" It is possible, /iertainly ; but not probable : is it, Eugene ? " 

' Would it grieve thee, irremediably, dearest, were it so?" re- 
joined Aram, evasively. 

"Irremediably! What could grieve me irremediably that did 
not happen to you ? " 

" Should, then, circumstances occur to induce us to leave this 
part of the country, for one yet more remote, you could submit 
cheerfully to the change ? " 

"I should weep for my father I should weep for Ellinor; 
but " 

"But what?" 

" I should comfort myself in thinking that you would then be 
yet more to me than ever ! " 

" Dearest ! " 

"But why did you speak thus; only to try me? Ah! that is 
needless." 

" No, my Madeline ; I have no doubt of your affection. When 
you loved such as me, I knew at once how blind, how devoted must 
be that love. You were not won through the usual avenues to a 
woman's heart ; neither wit nor gaiety, nor youth nor beauty, did 
you behold in me. Whatever attracted you towards me, that 
which must have been sufficiently powerful to make you overlook 
these ordinary allurements, will be also sufficiently enduring to 
resist all ordinary changes. But listen, Madeline. Do not yet ask 
me wherefore ; but I fear, that a certain fatality will constrain us 
to leave this spot very shortly after our wedding." 

" How disappointed my poor father will be ! " said Madeline, 
sighing. 

" Do not, on any account, mention this conversation to him, 01 
to Ellinor: 'sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.' " 

Madeline wondered, but said no more. There was a pause foi 
some minutes. 

" Do you remember," observed Madeline, " that it was about 
here we met that strange man whom you had formerly known ? " 

" Ha ! was it ? — Here, was it ? " 

" What has become of him ? " 

"He is abroad, I hope," said Aram, calmly. "Yes, let me 
think ; by this time he must be in France. Dearest, let us rest 
here on this dry mossy bank for a little while ; " and Aram drew 
his arm round her waist, and, his countenance brightening as ii 
with some thought of increasing joy, he poured out anew those 
protestations of love, and those anticipations of the future, which 
befitted the eve of a morrow so full of auspicious promise. 

The heaven of their fate seemed calm and glowing ; and Aram 
did not dream that the one small cloud of fear which was set 
within it, and which he alone beheld afar, and unprophetic of th( 
storm, was charged with the thunderbolt of a doom he had pro- 
tracted, not escaped. 



BTOENT ML.W 20> 



CHAPTER IX 

WALTEB ATD THE COBPOBAL ON THE BOAD.— THE EVENING SETS IX. 
—THE GIPSY TENTS. — ADVENTUBE WITH THE HORSEMAN.— THB 
COBPOBAL DISCOMFITED, AND THE ABBIVAL AT KNARE8B0B0TJGH. 



Long had he wandered, when from far he sees 
A ruddy flame that gleam'd betwixt the treei. 

Sir Gawaine prays him tel 

Where lies the road to princely Carduel. 

The Knight of the Sword. 



" Well, Bunting, we are not far from our night's resting-place," 
said Walter, pointing to a milestone on the road. 

" The poor beast will be glad when we gets there, your honour," 
answered the corporal, wiping his brows. 

" Which beast, Bunting } " 

" Augh ! — now your honour's severe ! I am glad to see you st> 
merry.'' 

Walter sighed heavily ; there was no mirth at his heart at that 
moment. 

" Pray, sir," said the corporal, after a pause, " if not too bold, 
has your honour heard how they be doing at Grassdale? " 

" Kb, Bunting, I have not held any correspondence with my uncle 
since our departure. Once I wrote to him on setting off to York- 
shire, but I could give him no direction to write to me again. The 
fact is, that I have been so sanguine in this search, and from day 
to day I have been so led on in tracing a clue, which I fear is now 
broken, that I have constantly put off writing till I could com- 
municate that certain intelligence which I nattered myself I 
should be able ere this to procure. However, if we are unsuccess- 
ful at Knaresborough, I shall write from that place a detailed ac- 
count of our proceedings." 

" And I hopes you will say as how I have given your honour 
satisfaction." 

" Depend upon that." 

"Thank you, sir, thank you humbly; I would not like tha 
squire to think I'm ungrateful ! — augh, — and mayhap, I may have 
more cause to be grateful by-and-by, whenever the squire, God 
bless him ! in consideration of your honour's good offices, should 
let me have the bit cottage rent free." 

" A man of the world, Bunting ; a man of the world ! " 

" Your honour's mighty obleeging," said the corporal, putting 
his hand to his hat ; " J wonders," renewed he, after a short pause, 
" I wonders how poor neighbour Dealtry is. He was a sufferer last 
year ; I should like to know how Peter be getting on— 'tis a good 
creature." 



210 EUGENE AEAM. 

Somewhat surprised at this sudden sympathy on the part of the 
corporal, for it was seldom that Bunting expressed kindness for any 
one, Walter replied, — 

" When I write, Bunting, I will not fail to inquire how Peter 
Dealtry is ; — does your kind heart suggest anv other message to 
him?" 

" Only to ask arter Jacobina, poor thing : she might get herself 
into trouble if little Peter fell sick and neglected her like — augh ! 
And I hopes as how Peter airs the bit cottage now and then ; but 
the squire, God bless him ! will see to that and the tato-garden, 
I'm sure." 

" You may rely on that, Bunting," said Walter, sinking into a 
reverie, from which he was shortly roused by the corporal. 

" I 'spose Miss Madeline be married afore now, your honour ? 
Well, pray Heaven she be happy with that ere larned man ! " 

Walter's heart beat faster lor a moment at this sudden remark, 
but he was pleased to find that the time when the thought of 
Madeline's marriage was accompanied with painful emotion was 
entirely gone by ; the reflection, however, induced a new train of 
idea, and without replying to the corporal, he sank into a deeper 
meditation than before. 

The shrewd Bunting saw that it was not a favourable moment 
for renewing the conversation : he therefore suffered his horse to 
fall back, and taking a quid from his tobacco-box, was soon as well 
entertained as his master. In this manner they rode on for about 
a couple of miles, the evening growing darker as they proceeded, 
when a green opening in the road brought them within view of a 
gipsy's encampment ; the scene was so sudden and picturesque, 
that it aroused the young traveller from his reverie, and as his tired 
horse walked slowly on, the bridle about its neck, he looked with 
an earnest eye on the vagrant settlement beside his path. The 
moon had just risen above a dark copse in the rear, and east a broad, 
deep shadow along the green, without lessening the vivid effect of 
the fires which glowed and sparkled in the darker recess of the 
waste land, as the gloomy forms of the Egyptians were seen dimly 
cowering round the blaze. A scene of this sort is, perhaps, one of 
the most striking that the green lanes of old England afford, — to 
me it has always an irresistible attraction, partly from its own 
claims, partly from those of association. When I was a mere boy, 
and bent on a solitary excursion over parts of England and Scot- 
land, I saw something of that wild people, — though not perhaps so 
much as the ingenious George Hanger, to whose memoirs the 
reader may be referred for some rather amusing pages on gipsy life. 
As Walter was still eyeing the encampment, he in return had not 
escaped the glance of an old crone, who came running hastily up 
to him, and begged permission to tell his fortune and to have her 
hand crossed with silver. 

Very few men under thirty ever sincerely refuse an offer of this 
»rt. Nobody believes in these predictions, yet every one likes 
Baring them: and Walter, after faintly refusing the proposal 
viae, consented the third time : and drawing up his horse sub- 



BOOENE ASJlV.. 311 

mitted his hand to the old lady. In the mean while, one of the 
younger urchins who had accompanied her had run to the encamp- 
ments for a light, and now stood behind the old woman's shoulder, 
rearing on high a pine-brand, which cast over the little group a red 
and weird-like glow. 

The reader must not imagine wo are now about to call his credu- 
lity in aid to eke out anj interest he may feel in our story ; the old 
crone was but a vulgar gipsy, and she predicted to Walter the 
same fortune she always predicted to those who paid a shilling for 
the prophecy — an heiress with blue eyes — seven children — troubles 
about the epoch of forty-three, happily soon over — and a healthy 
old age, with an easy death. Though Walter was not impressed 
with any reverential awe for these vaticinations, he yet could not 
refrain from inquiring whether the journey on which he was at 
present bent was likely to prove successful in its object. 

" 'Tis an ill night," said the old woman, lifting up her wild face 
and elfin locks with a mysterious air — " 'Tis an ill night for them 
as seeks, and for them as asks — .He's about " 

"He— who!" 

" No matter ! — you may be successful, young sir, yet wish you 
had not been so. The moon thus, and the wind there, promise that 
you will get your desires, and find them crosses." 

The corporal had listened very attentively to these predictions, 
and was now about to thrust forth his own hand to the soothsayer, 
when from a cross road to the right came the sound of hoofs, and 
presently a horseman at full trot pulled up beside them. 

" Harkye, old she-devil, or you, sirs — is this the road to Knares- 
borough r" 

The gipsy drew back, and gazed on the countenance of the rider, 
on which the red glare of the pine-brand shone full. 

" To Knaresborough, Richard the dare-devil ? Ay, and what does 
the ramping bird want in the old nest ? "Welcome back to Yorkshire, 
Richard, my ben- cove ! " 

" Ha ! " said the rider, shading his eyes with his hand, as he 
returned the gaze of the gipsy — " is it you, Bess Airlie ?— your 
welcome is like the owl's, and reads the wrong way. But I must 
not t-top. This takes to Knaresborough, then ? " 

" Straight as a dying man's curse to hell," replied the crone 
in that metaphorical style in which all her tribe love to speak, 
and of which their proper language is indeed almost wholly com- 
posed. 

The horseman answered not, but spurred on. 

"Who is that r" asked Walter, earnestly, as the old woman 
stretched her tawny neck after the rider. 

" An old friend, sir," replied the Egyptian, drily. " I have not 
f-een him these fourteen years ; but it is not Bess Airlie who is apt 
to forgit friend or foe. Well, sir, shall I tell your honour's good 
mck ? ' (here she turned to the corporal, who sat erect on his saddle, 
with his hand on his holster)—" the colour of the lady's hair — 
and " 

" Hold your tongue, you limb of Satan ! " interrupted the oor- 



2iv EUGENE A&AM. 

poral, fiercely, as if his whole tide of thought, so lately favourable 
to the soothsayer, had undergone a deadly reversion. " Please your 
honour, it's getting late, we had hetter he jogging !" 

" You are right," said Walter, spurring his jaded horse ; and 
nodding his adieu to the gipsy, he was soon out of sight of the 
encampment. 

" Sir," said the corporal, joining his master, " that is a man as 
I have seed afore ; I knowed his ugly face again in a crack — 'tis 
the man what came to Grassdale arter Sir. Aram, and we saw arter- 
wards the night we chanced on Sir Peter Thingumebob." 

" Bunting," said "Walter, in a low voice, " J too have been try- 
ing to recall the face of that man, and I too am persuaded I have 
seen it before. A fearful suspicion, amounting almost to convic- 
tion, creeps over me, that the hour in which I last saw it was one 
when my life was in peril. In a word, I do believe that I beheld 
that face bending over me on the night when I lay under the 
hedge, and so nearly escaped murder ! If I am right, it was, how- 
ever, the mildest of the ruffians — the one who counselled his com- 
rades against despatching me." 
The corporal shuddered. 

"Pray, sir," said he, after a moment's pause, "do see if your 
pistols are primed : — so — so. 'Tis not out o' nature that the man 
may have some 'complices hereabout, and may think to waylay us. 
The old gipsy, too, what a face she had ! Depend on it, they are 
two of a trade — augh ! — bother ! — whaugh ! " 
And the corporal grunted his most significant grunt. 
" It is not at all unlikely, Bunting ; and as we are not now far 
from Knaresborough, it will be prudent to ride on as fast as our 
horses will allow us. Keep up alongside." 

"Certainly — I '11 protect your honour," said the corporal, getting 
on that side where the hedge being the thinnest, an ambush was 
less likely to be laid. " I care more for your honour's safety than 
my own, or what a brute I should be — augh ! " 

The master and man trotted on for some little distance, when 
they perceived a dark object moving along by the grass on the side 
of the road. The corporal's hair bristled — he uttered an oath, which 
he mistook for a prayer. Walter felt his breath grow a little thick 
as he watched the motions^ of the object so imperfectly beheld ; 
presently, however it grew into a man on horseback, trotting very 
slowly along the grass ; and as they now neared him, they re- 
cognised the rider they had just seen, whom they might have 
imagined, from the pace at which he left them before, to have been 
considerably ahead of them. 

The horseman turned round as he saw them. 
" Pray, gentlemen," said he, in a tone of great and evident 
anxiety, "how far is it to Knaresborough i" 

"Don't answer him, your honour," whispered the corporal. 
" Probably," replied Walter, unheeding this advice, " you know 
this road better than we do. It cannot, however, be above three or 
four miles hence." 
" Thank you, sir, — it is long since I have been in these parte. I 



KCUF.KE ARAM. 213 

used to know the country, but they have made new roads _ and 
strange enclosures, and I now scarcely recognise anything familiar. 
Curse on this brute ! curse on it, I say ! " repeated the horseman 
through his ground teeth, in a tone of angry vehemence : "I never 
wanted to ride so quick before, and the beast has fallen as lame as 
a tree. This comes of trying to go faster than other folks. — Sir, 
are you a father ?" 

This abrupt question, which was uttered in a sharp, strained 
voice, a little startled Walter. He replied shortly in the negative, 
and was about to spur onward, when the horseman continued — 
and there was something in his voice and manner that compelled 
attention, — 

" And I am in doubt whether I have a child or not. — By G — ! it 
is a bitter gnawing state of mind. — I may reach Knaresborough to 
lind my only daughter dead, sir ! — dead ! " 

Despite Walter's suspicions of the speaker, he could not but feel 
a thrill of sympathy at the visible distress with which these words 
were said. 

" I hope not," said he, involuntarily. 

" Thank you, sir," replied the horseman, trying ineffectually to 
spur on his steed, which almost came down at the effort to proceed. 
"I have ridden thirty miles across the country at full speed, for 
they had no post-horses at the d — d place where I hired this brute. 
This was the only creature I could/ get for love or money ; and 
now the devil only knows how important every moment may be. 
While I speak, my child may breathe her last ! " And the man 
brought his clenched list on the shoulder of his horse in mingled 
>!>ite and rage. 

" All sham, your honour," whispered the corporal. 

'' .Sir," cried the horseman, now raising his voice, " I need not 
liave asked if you had been a father — if you had, you would have 
iiad. compassion on me ere this, — you would have lent me your own 
h«irse." 

'* The impudent rogue ! " muttered the corporal. 

" Sir," replied Walter, "it is not to the tale of every stranger 
that a man gives belief." 

" Belief! — ah, well, well, 'tis no matter," said the horseman, 
sullenly. "There was a time, man, when I would have forced 
what I now solicit ; but my heart 's gone. Bide on, sir — ride on, — 
and the curse of " 

" If," interrupted Walter, irresolutely, " if I could believe your 
statement:— but no. Mark me, sir: I have reasons — fearful reasons, 
for imagining you mean this but as a snare ! " 

" Ha ! " said the horseman, deliberately, " have we met before?" 

" I believe so." 

" And you have had cause to complain of me ? It may be — it 
may be : but were the grave before me, and if one lie would smite 
me into it, I solemnly swear that I now utter but the naked truth." 

" It would be folly to trust him, Bunting ? " said Walter, turning 
round to his attendant. 

" Folly I — sheer madness — bother ! " 



"2! 4 TOQEJfE A3U.M. 

" If you are the man I take you for," said Walter, " you once 
raised your voice against the murder, though you assisted in the 
robbery, of a traveller : — that traveller was myself. I will remem- 
ber the mercy — I will forget the outrage ; and I will not believe 
that you have devised this tale as a snare. Take my horse, sir : I 
will trust you." 

Houseman, for it was he, flung himself instantly from his saddle 
" I don't ask God to bless you : a blessing in my mouth would be 
worse than a curse. But you will not repent this : you will not 
repent it ! " 

Houseman said these few words with a palpable emotion ; and it 
was more striking on account of the evident coarseness and 
hardened brutality of his nature. In a moment more he had 
mounted Walter's horse, and turning ere he sped on, inquired at 
what place at Knaresborough the horse should be sent. Walter 
directed him to the principal inn ; and Houseman, waving his 
hand, and striking his spurs into the animal, wearied as it was, 
shot out of sight in a moment. 

"Well, if ever 1 seed the like!" quoth the corporal. "Lira, 
lira, la, la, la ! lira, lara, la, la, la ! — augh ! — waugh ! — bother ! " 

" So my good-nature does not please you, Bunting !" 

" Oh, sir, it does not sinnify : we shall have our throats cut— 
that's all." 

" What, you don't believe the story ? " 

" I ? Bless your honour, 7 am no fool ! " 

" Bunting ! " 

"Sir." 

" You forget yourself." 

"Augh!" 

" So you don't think I should have lent the horse ! " 

" Sartainly not." 

" On occasions like these, every man ought to take care of him- 
telf ? Prudence before generosity ? " 

" Of a sartainty, sir ! " 

" Dismount, then, — I want my horse. You may shift with the 
lame oni'." 

" Augh, sir, — haugh ! " 

"Rascal, dismount, I say!" said Walter, angrily: for the cor- 
poral was one of those men who aim at governing their masters : 
and his selfishness now irritated Walter as much as his imperti- 
nent tone of superior wisdom. 

The corporal hesitated. He thought an ambuscade by the road 
of certain occurrence ; and he was weighing the danger of riding a 
lame horse against his master's displeasure. Walter perceiving he 
demurred, was seized with so violent a resentment, that he dashed 
up to the corporal, and grasping him by the collar, swung him, 
heavy as he was — being wholly unprepared for such force, — to the 
ground. 

Without deigning to look at his condition, Walter mounted the 
sound horse, and throwing the bridle of the lame one over a bough, 
left the corporal to follow at his Insure. 



EUGENE ARAM. 310 

There Is not, perhaps, a more sore state of mind than that whioh 
we experience when we have committed an act we meant to be 
generous, and fear to be foolish. 

" Certainly," said Walter, soliloquising 1 , " certainly the man is 
a rascal ; yet ho was evidently sincero in his emotion. Certainly 
he was one of the men who robbed me ; yet, if so, he was also the 
one who interceded for my life. If I should now have giver 
strength to a villain ; — if I should have assisted him to an outrag* 
against myself ! What more probable ? Yet, on the other hand, 
if his story be true ; — if his child be dying, — and if, through 
my means, he obtain a last interview with her ! Well, well, let 
me hope so ! " 

Here he was joined by the corporal, who, angry as he was, 
judged it prudent to smother his rage for another opportunity ; 
and by favouring his master with his company, to procure himself 
an ally immediately at hand, should his suspicions prove true. 
But for once, his knowledge of the world deceived him : no sign of 
living creature broke the loneliness of the way. By-and-by the 
lights of the town gleamed upon them ; and, on reaching the inn, 
Walter found his horse had been already sent there, and, covered 
with dust and foam, was submitting itself to the tutelary hands of 
the ostler. 



CHAPTER X. 

WALTERS INFLECTIONS.— MINE HOST.— A GENTLE CHARACTEB AND 
A GBEEN OLD AGE.— THE GARDEN, AND THAT WHICH IT TEACHETH. 
—A DIALOGUE WHEREIN NEW HINTS TOWARDS THE WISHED-FOE 
DISCOVERT ABE SUGGESTED.— THE CURATE.— A VISIT TO A SPOT 
OF DEEP TNTEEEST TO THE ADVENTURER. 



I made a posy while the day ran by, 
Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie 
My life within this band. — Qeorge Herbert. 

The time approaches. 
That will with doe precision make us know 
What .—Macbeth. 



The next morning Walter rose early, and descending into the 
courtyard of the inn, he there met with the landlord, who — a hoe 
in his hand — was just about to enter a little gate that led into the 
garden. He held the gate open for Walter. 

"It is a fine morning, sir ; would you like to look into the 
garden ? " said mine host, with an inviting smile. 

Walter accepted the offer, and found himself in a large and well- 
stocked garden, laid out with much neatness and some taste : the 
landlord halted by a parterre whioh required his attention, and 
Walter walked on in solitary reflection 



216 ECGEKE AKAM. 

The morning was serene and clear, but the frost mingled the 
Jreshness with an " eager and nipping air ;" and Walter uncon- 
sciously quickened his step as he paced to and fro the straight walk 
that bisected the garden, with his eyes on the ground, and his hat 
over his brows. 

Now then he had reached the place where the last trace of his 
father seemed to have vanished ; in how wayward and strange a 
manner ! If no further clue could be here discovered by the in- 
quiry he purposed, at this spot would terminate his researches and 
his hopes. But the young heart of the traveller was buoyed up 
with expectation. Looking back to the events of the last few 
weeks, he thought he recognised the finger of Destiny guiding him 
from step to step, and now resting on the scene to which it had 
brought his feet. How singularly complete had been the train of 
circumstance, which, linking things seemingly most trifling, most 
dissimilar, had lengthened into one continuous chain of evidence ! 
the trivial incident that led him to the saddler's shop ; the acci- 
dent that brought the whip that had been his father's to his eye ; 
the account from Courtland, which had conducted him to this 
remote part of the country ; and now the narrative of Elmore lead- 
ing him to the spot, at which all inquiry seemed as yet to pause ! 
Had he been led hither only to hear repeated that strange tale of 
sudden and wanton disappearance — to find an abrupt wall, a blank 
and impenetrable barrier to a course hitherto so continuously 
guided on ? Had he been the sport of Fate, and not its instrument r 
No ; he was filled with a serious and profound conviction, that a 
discovery which he of all men was best entitled by the unalienable 
claims of blood and birth to achieve was reserved for him, and that 
this grand dream of childhood was now about to be embodied and 
attained. He could not but be sensible, too, that as he had pro- 
ceeded on his high enterprise, his character had acquired a weight 
and a thoughtful seriousness, which was more fitted to the nature 
of that enterprise than akin to his earlier temper. This conscious- 
ness swelled nis bosom with a profound and steady hope. When 
Fate selects her human agents, her dark and mysterious spirit is 
at work within them; she moulds their hearts, she exalts theii 
energies, she shapes them to the part she has allotted them, and 
renders the mortal instrument worthy of the solemn end. 

Thus chewing the cud of his involved and deep reflections, the 
.f oung adventurer paused at last opposite his host, who was still 
bending over his pleasant task, and every now and then, excited 
by the exercise and the fresh morning air, breaking into snatches 
of some old rustic song. The contrast in mood between himself 
and this 

" Unvex'd loiterer by the world's green ways," 

struck forcibly upon him. Mine host, too, was one whose appear- 
ance was better suited to his occupation than his profession. He 
might have told some three-and-sixty years, but it was a comely 
and green old age ; his cheek was firm and ruddy, not with nightly 
•c-ups, but the fresh witness of the morning breezes it was wont to 



ETJO&KK A HAM. 217 

court; his frame was robust, not corpulent; and his long grey 
hair, which fell almost to his shoulders, his clear blue eyes, and a 
pleasant curve in a mouth characterised by habitual good-humour, 
completed a portrait that even many a dull observer would have 
paused to gaze upon. And, indeed, the good man enjoyed a cer- 
tain kind of reputation for his comely looks and cheerful manner. 
His picture had even been taken by a young artist in the neigh- 
bourhood : nay, the likeness had been multiplied into engravings, 
somewhat rude and somewhat unfaithful, which might be seen 
occupying no unconspicuous nor dusty corner in the principal 
printshop of the town : nor was mine host's character a contra- 
diction to his looks. He had seen enough of life to be intelligent, 
and had judged it rightly enough to be kind. He had passed that 
line so nieelv given to man's codes in those admirable pages which 
lirst added delicacy of tact to the strong sense of English compo- 
sition. " We have just religion enough," it is said somewhere in 
the Spectator, "to make us hate, but not enough to make us love, 
one another." Our good landlord, peace be with his ashes ! had 
never halted at this limit. The country innkeeper might have 
furnished Goldsmith with a counterpart to his country curate ; his 
house was equally hospitable to the poor — his heart equally tender, 
in a nature wiser than experience, to error, and equally open, in 

its warm simplicity, to distress. Peace be with thee ! Our 

arandsire was thy patron — yet a patron thou didst not want. 
Merit in thy capacity is seldom bare of reward. The public want 
no indicators to a house like thine. And who requires a third per- 
son to tell him how to appreciate the value of good-nature and 
good-cheer ? 

As Walter stood and contemplated the old man bending over the 
sweet fresh earth (and then, glancing round, saw the quiet garden 
stretching away on either side, with its boundaries lost among the 
thick evergreen), something of that grateful and moralising still- 
ness with which some country scene generally inspires us, when 
we awake to its consciousness from the troubled dream of dark 
and unquiet thought, stole over his mind; and certain old lines 
which his uncle, who loved the soft and rustic morality that per- 
vades the ancient race of English minstrels, had taught him, when 
a boy, came pleasantly into his recollection : — 

" With all, as in some rare limned book, we see 
Here painted lectures of God's sacred will. 
The daisy teacheth lowliness of mind ; 
The camomile, we should be patient still ; 
The rue, our hate of vice's poison ill ; 
The woodbine, that we should our friendship hold 
Our hope the savory in the bitterest cold."* 

The old man stopped from his work, as the musing figure of hii 
guest darkened the prospect before him, and said, — 
" A pleasant time, sir, for the gardener ! " 
" Ay, is it so ? You must miss the fruits and flowers of summer ' 

• Henry Peacham. 



2 IS EU&ENE ARAM. 

" Well, sir, — but we are now paying back the garden for the 
good things it has given us. It is like taking care of a friend in 
old age, who has been kind to us when he was young." 

"Walter smiled at the quaint amiability of the idea. 

" 'Tis a winning thing, sir, a garden ! It brings us an object 
every day ; and that's what I think a man ought to have if he 
wishes to lead a happy life." 

" It is true," said Walter ; and mine host was encouraged to con- 
tinue by the attention and affable countenance of the stranger, for 
he was a physiognomist in his way. 

" And then, sir, we have no disappointment in these objects ; — 
the soil is not ungrateful, as they say men are — though I have not 
often found them so, by the bye. What we sow we reap. I have 
an old book, sir, lying in my little parlour, all about fishing, and 
full of so many pretty sayings about a country life, and meditation, 
and so forth, that it does one as much good as a sermon to look into 
it. But to my mind, all those sayings are more applicable to a 
gardener's life than a fisherman's." 

" It is a less cruel life, certainly," said Walter. 

"Yes, sir; and then the scenes one makes oneself, the flowers 
one plants with one's own hand, one enjoys more than all the 
beauties which don't owe us anything : at least so it seems to me. 
I have always been thankful to the accident that made me take to 
gardening." 

" And what was that ? " 

" Why, sir, you must know there was a great scholar, though he 
was but a youth then, living in this town some years ago, and he 
was very curious in plants, and flowers, and such like. I have 
heard the parson say, he knew more of those innocent matters than 
any man in this country. At that time I was not in so flourishing 
a way of business as I am at present. I kept a little inn in the 
outskirts of the town ; and having formerly been a gamekeeper of 
my Lord —^—'s, I was in the habit of eking out my little profits by 
accompanying gentlemen in fishing or snipe-shooting. So one 
day, sir, I went out fishing with a strange gentleman from London, 
and, in a very quiet retired spot some miles off, he stopped and 
plucked some herbs that seemed to me common enough, but which 
he declared were most curious and rare things, and he carried them 
carefully away. I heard afterwards he was a great herbalist,_ I 
think they call it, but he was a very poor fisher. Well, sir, 
I thought the next morning of Mr. Aram, our great scholar and 
botanist, and fancied it would please him to know of these bits 
of grass : so I went and called upon him, and begged leave to go 
and show the spot to him. So we walked there ; and certainly, sir, 
of all the men that ever I saw, I never met one that wound round 
your heart like this same Eugene Aram. He was then exceedingly 
poor, but he never complained ; and was much too proud for any 
one to dare to offer him relief. He lived quite alone, and usually 
avoided every one in his walks ; but, sir, there was something so 
engaging and patient in his manner, and his voice, and his pale, 
mild countenance, which, young as he was then, for he was net a 



KCUE.N1; AblAM. -il'3 

year or two_ above twentj.was marked with sadness and melan- 
choly, that it quite went to your heart when you met him or spoke 
to hun. — Well, sir. we walked to the plaoe, ana very much delighted 
ho seemed with the preen things I showed him ; and as I was 
always of a communicative temper — rather a gossip, sir, my neigh- 
bours say — 1 made lum smile now and then by my remarks. He 
seemed pleased with me, and talked to me going home about 
dowers, and gardening, and such like ; and sure it was better than 
a book to hear him. And after that, when we came across on 
another, he would not shun me as he did others, but let me stoj. 
and talk to him ; and then I asked his advice about a wee farm 1 
thought of taking, and he told me many curious things which, sure 
enough, I found quite true, and brought me in afterwards a deal 
of money. But we talked much about gardening, for I loved to 
hear him talk on those matters ; and so, sir, I was struck by all he 
said, and could not rest till I took to gardening myself ; and ever 
since I have gone on, more pleased with it every day of my life. 
Indeed, sir, I think these harmless pursuits make a man's heart 
better and kinder to his fellow-creatures ; and I always take more 
pleasure in reading the Bible, specially the New Testament, after 
having spent the day in the garden. Ah, well, I should like to 
know what has become of that poor gentleman." 

" I can relieve your honest heart about him. Mr. Aram is living 

in , well off m the world, and universally liked ; though he 

still keeps to his old habits of reserve." 

" Ay, indeed, sir ! I have not heard anything that pleased me 
more this many a day." 

" Pray," said "Walter, after a moment's pause,_ " doyou remem- 
ber the circumstance of a Mr. Clarke appearing in this town, and 
leaving it in a very abrupt and mysterious manner ? " 

" Do I mind it, sir r Yes, indeed. It made a great noise in 
Knaresborough — there were many suspicions of foul play about it. 
Fc >r my part, I too had my thoughts, but that's neither here nor 
there;'' and the old man recommenced weeding with great dili- 
gence. 

" My friend," said Walter, mastering his emotion, " you would 
sc rve ine more deeply than I can express if you would give me any 
information, any conjecture respecting this — this Mr. Clarke. I 
have come liither, solely to make inquiry after his fate : in a word, 
he is — or was — a near relative of mine ! " 

The old man looked wistfully in Walter's face. " Indeed," said 
he, slowly, "you are welcome, sir, to all I know; but that is very 
little, or na hing rather. But will you turn up this walk, sir ? it's 
more retired. Did you ever hear of one Richard Houseman ? " 

" Houseman ! yes. He knew my poor , I mean he knew 

Clarke : he said Clarke was in his debt when he left the town so 
suddenly." 

The old man shook his head mysteriously, and looked round. ' ' I 
will tell you," said he, laying his hand on Walter's arm, and 
speaking: in his ear ; " I would not accuse any one wrongfully, but 
i have my doubts that Houseman murdered him." 



£20 ETJGEXE AEAM. 

" Great God! " murmured "Walter, clinging to a post for support. 
" Go on — heed me not— for mercy's sake go on." 

" Nay, I know nothing certain — nothing certain, believe me," 
said the old man, shocked at the effect his words had produced : 
"' it may he better than I think for, and my reasons are not very 
strong, but you shall hear them. Mr. Clarke, you know, came to 
this town to receive a legacy — you know the particulars ?" 

Walter impatiently nodded assent. 

" Well, though he seemed in poor health, he was a lively careless 
man, who liked any company who would sit and tell stories, and 
drink o' nights ; not a silly man exactly, but a weak one. Now of 
all the idle persons of this town, Richard Houseman was the most 
inclined to this way of life. He had been a soldier — had wandered 
a good deal about the world — was a bold, talking, reckless fellow— 
of a character thoroughly profligate ; and there were many stories 
afloat about him, though none were clearly made out. In short, 
he was suspected of having occasionally taken to the high-road ; 
and a stranger, who stopped once at my little inn, assured me 
privately, that though he could not positively swear to his person, 
he felt convinced that he had been stopped a year before on the 
London road by Houseman. No th withstanding all this, as House- 
man had some respectable connections in the town — among his 
relations, by the bye, was Mr. Aram — as he was a thoroughly boon 
companion, — a good shot, — a bold rider, — excellent at a song, and 
very cheerful and merry, he was not without as much company 
as he pleased ; and the first night he and Mr. Clarke came together, 
they grew mighty intimate ; indeed it seemed as if they had met 
before. On the night Mr. Clarke disappeared, I had been on an 
excursion with some gentlemen ; and in consequence of the snow, 
which had been heavy during the latter part of the day, I did not 
return to Knaresborough till past midnight. In walking through the 
town, I perceived two men engaged in earnest conversation : one of 
them, I am sure, was Clarke ; the other was wrapped up in a great- 
coat, with the cape over his face ; but the watchman had met the 
same man alone at an earlier hour, and, putting aside the cape, 
perceived that it was Houseman. No one else was seen with Clark* 
-after that hour." 

" But was not Houseman examined ? " 

" Slightly ; and deposed that he had been spending the night 
with Eugene Aram ; that on leaving Aram's house, he met Clarke, 
and wondering that he, the latter, an invalid, should be out at so 
late an hour, he walked some way with him, in order to learn the 
cause ; but that Clarke seemed confused, and was reserved, and on 
his guard, and at last wished him good-bye abruptly, and turned 
away. That he, Houseman, had no doubt he left the town that 
night with the intention of defrauding his creditors, and making 
oil' with some jewels he had borrowed from Mr. Elmore." 

" But, Aram — was thii suspicious, nay, abandoned character — 
this Houseman — intimate with Aram ? " 

" Not at all ; but being distantly related, and Houseman being a 
familiar, pushing sort of a fellow, Aram could not, perhaps, alwayt 



E0GE.VK AJtAM. 2-21 

■hake him off; and Aram allowed that Houseman had spent th» 
evening with him." 

" And no suspicion rested on Aram ? " 

The host turned round in amazement. — " Heavens above, no ' 
One might as well suspect the lamb of eating the wohf ! " 

But not thus thought "Walter Lester : the wild words occasional ly 
uttered by the student— his lone habits — his frequent starts and 
colloquy with self, all of which had, even from the first, it has been 
seen, excited Walter's suspicion of former guilt, that had murdered 
the mind'? wholesome sleep, now rushed with tenfold force upon 
his memory. 

"But no other circumstance transpired? Is this your whole 
ground for suspicion ; the mere circumstance of Houseman's being 
last seen with Clarke ? " 

" Consider also the dissolute and bold character of Houseman. 
Clarke evidently had his jewels and money with him — they were 
not left in the house. What a temptation to one who was more 
than suspected of having in the course of his life taken to plunder ! 
Houseman shortly afterwards left the country. He has never 
returned to the town since, though his daughter lives here with his 
wife's mother, and has occasionally gone up to town to see him." 

" And Aram — he also left Knaresborough soon after this mysteri 
ous event?" 

" Yes ! an old aunt at York, who had never assisted him during 
her life, died and "bequeathed him a legacy, about a month after- 
wards. On receiving it, he naturally went to London — the best 
place for such clever scholars." 

" Ha ! _ But are you sure that the aunt died — that the legacy was 
left? Might this be no tale to give an excuse to the spending of 
money otherwise acquired ? " 

Mine host looked almost with anger on Walter. 

"It is clear," said he, "you know nothing of Eugene Aram, or 
you would not speak thus. But I can satisfy your doubts on this 
head. I knew the old lady well, and my wife was at York when 
she died. Besides, every one here knows something of the will, 
for it was rather an eccentric one." 

Walter paused irresolutely. "Will you accompany me," he 
asked, "to the house in which Mr. Clarke lodged, — and indeed, to 
any other place where it may be prudent to institute inquiry ? " 

"Certainly, sir, with the biggest pleasure," said mine host; 
" but you must first try my dame's butter and eggs. It is time to 
breakfast." 

We may suppose that Walter's simple meal was soon over ; and 
growing impatient and restless to commence his inquiries, he de- 
scended from his solitary apartment to the little back room behind 
the bar, in which he had, on the night before, seen mine host and 
his better-half at supper. It was a snug, small, wainscoted room ; 
fishing-rods were neatly arranged against the wall, which was 
also decorated by a portrait of the landlord himself, two old Dutch 
pictures of fruit and game, a long, quaint-fashioned fowling-piece, 
and, opposite the fireplace, a noble stag's bead and antlers. On 



;&:% EUGENE ARAM. 

the window-seat lay the Izaak "Walton to which the old man had 
jeferred ; the Family Bible, with its green -baize cover, and the 
frequent marks peeping out from its venerable pages ; and, close 
nestling to it, recalling that beautiful sentence, " Suffer the little 
children to come unto me, and forbid them not," several of those 
little volumes with gay bindings, and marvellous contents of fay 
and giant, which delight the hearth-spelled urchin, and whicn 
were " the soarce of golden hours " to the old man's grandchildren, 
in their respite from "learning's little tenements," — 

" Where sits the dame, disguised in look profound, 
And eyes her fairy throng, and turns her wheel around." • 

Mine host was still employed by a huge brown loaf and some 
baked pike ; and mine hostess, a quiet and serene old lady, was 
alternately regaling herself and a large brindled cat from a plate 
of " toasten cheer." 

While the old man was hastily concluding his repast, a little 
knock at the door was heard, and presently an elderly gentleman 
in black put his head into the room, and, perceiving the stranger, 
would have drawn back ; but both landlady and landlord, bus- 
tling up, entreated him to enter, by the appellation of Mr. Summers. 
And then, as the gentleman smilingly yielded to the invitation, 
the landlady, turning to Walter, said, — " Our clergyman, sir : 
and though I say it afore his face, there is not a man who, if 
Christian vartues were considered, ought so soon to be a bishop." 

"Hush! my good lady," said Mr. Summers, laughing as he 
bowed to Walter. " You see, sir, that it is no trifling advantage 
to a Knaresborough reputation to have our hostess's good word 
But, indeed," turning to the landlady, and assuming a grave and 
impressive ah', " I have little mind for jesting now. You know poor 
Jane Houseman, — a mild, quiet, blue-eyed oreature, — she died at 
daybreak this morning ! Her father had come from London 
expressly to see her : she died in his arms, and, I hear, he is almost 
in a state of frenzy." 

The host and hostess signified their commiseration. " Poor 
little girl ! " said the latter, wiping her eyes ; " hers was a hard 
fate, and she felt it, child as sne was. Without the care of a 
mother — and s\ich a father ! Yet he was fond of her." 

" My reason for calling on you was this," renewed the clergy- 
man, addressing the host: "you knew Houseman formerly ; me 
he always shunned, and, I fancy, ridiculed. He is in distress 
now, and all that is forgotten. Will you seek him, and inquire if 
anything in my power can afford him consolation ? He may be 
poor : I can pay for the poor child's burial. I loved her ; she was 
the best girl at Mrs. Summers's school." 

" Certainly, sir, I will seek him," said the landlord, hesitating : 
and then, drawing the clergyman aside, he informed him in a 
whisper of his engagement with Walter, and with the present 
pursuit and meditated inquiry of his guest ; not forgetting to 

* Shenstone's *' Schoolmistress." 



KDGK.NE AEAM. 223 

Insinuate his suspicion of the guilt of the man whom lie was new 
called upon to compassionate. 

The clergyman mused a little ; and then, approaching "Walter, 
offered his services in the stead of the publican in so frank and 
cordial a manner, that Walter at once accepted them. 

" Let us come now, then," said the good curate — for he was but 
the curate — seeing Walter's impatienoe j " and first we will go to 
the house in which Clarke lodged : I know it well." 

The two gentlemen now commenced their expedition. Summers 
was no contemptible antiquary; and he sought to beguile the 
nervous impatience of his companion by dilating on the attractions 
of the ancient and memorable town to which his purpose had 
brought him. 

" Remarkable," said the curate, " alike in history and tradition ; 
look yonder" (pointing above, as an opening in the road gave to 
view the frowning and beetled ruins of the shattered castle) : " you 
would be at some loss to recognise now the truth of old Leland's 
description of that once stout and gallant bulwark of the North, 
when he 'numbrid 11 or 12 towres in the walles of the castel, 
and one very fayre beside in the second area.' In that castle, the 
four knightly murderers of the haughty Becket (the Wolsey of his 
age) remained for a whole year, defying_ the weak justice of 
the times. There, too, the unfortunate Richard II. — the Stuart 
of the Plantagenets — passed some portion of his bitter imprison- 
ment. And there, after the battle of Marston Moor, waved the 
banners of the loyalists against the soldiers of Lilburne. It was 
made yet more touching!}- memorable at that time, as you may 
have heard, by an instance of filial piety. The town was greatly 
straitened for want of provisions ; a youth, whose father was in 
the garrison, was accustomed nightly to get into the deep dry moat, 
climb up the glacis, and put provisions through a hole, where the 
lather stood ready to receive them. He was perceived at length ; 
the soldiers fired on him. He was taken prisoner and sentenced 
to be hanged in the sight of the besieged, in order to strike terror 
into those who might be similarly disposed to render assistance to 
the garrison. Fortunately, however, thi* disgrace was spared the 
memory of Lilburne and the republic; > .rms. With great diffi- 
culty, a certain lady obtained his respite ; and after the conquest 
of the place, and the departure of the troops, the adventurous son 
was released." 

" A fit subject for your local poets," said Walter, whom stories 
of this sort, from the nature of his own enterprise, especially 
affected. 

" Yes ; but we boast but few minstrels since the young 
Aram left U3._ The castle then, once the residence of John of 
Gaunt, was dismantled and destroyed. Many of the houses we 
shall pass have been built from its massive ruins. It is singular, 
by the way, that it was twice captured bv men of the name of 
Lilburn, or Lillburne ; once in the reign of Edward II., once as I 
have related. On looking over historical records, we are surprised 
to find how often certain names have been fatal to certain spots; 



821 r,xrU£XE AKAur. 

and tliis reminds me, by the way, that we boast the origin of the 
English sibyl, the venerable Mother Shipton. _ The wild rock, 
at whose foot she is said to have been born, is worthy of the 
tradition." 

" You spoke just now," said "Walter, who had not very patiently 
suffered the curate thus to ride his hobby, " of Eugene Aram ; you 
knew him well ? " 

" Nay : he suffered not any to do that ! He was a remarkable 
youth. I have noted him from his childhood upward, long before he 
came to Knaresborough, till on leaving this place, fourteen years 
back, I lost sight of him. — Strange, musing, solitary from a boy : but 
what accomplishment of learning he had reached ! Never did I 
see one whom Nature so emphatically marked to be geeat. I 
often wonder that his name has not long ere this been more uni. 
versally noised abroad, whatever he attempted was stamped with 
such signal success. I have by me some scattered pieces of his 
poetry when a boy : they were given me by his poor father, long 
since dead ; and are full of a dim, shadowy anticipation of future 
fame. Perhaps, yet, before he dies, — he is still young, — the pre- 
sentiment will be realized. You, too, know him, then ? " 

" Yes ! I have known him. Stay — dare I ask you a question, a 
fearful question ? Did suspicion ever, in your mind, in the mind 
of any one, rest on Aram, as concerned in the mysterious disappear- 
ance of my — of Clarke ? His acquaintance with Houseman, who 
was suspected; Houseman's visit to Aram that night; his pre- 
vious poverty — so extreme, if I hear rightly; his after riches— 
though they perhaps may be satisfactorily accounted for; his 
leaving this town so shortly after the disappearance I refer to ; — 
these alone might not create suspicion in me, but I have seen the 
man in moments of reverie and abstraction, I have listened to 
strange and broken words, I have noted a sudden, keen, and angry 
susceptibility to any unmeant appeal to a less peaceful or less 
innocent remembrance. And there seems to me inexplicably to 
hang over his heart some gloomy recollection, which I cannot divest 
myself from imagining to be that of guilt." 

Walter spoke quickly, and in great though half-suppressed ex- 
citement ; the more kindled from observing that as he spoke, Sum- 
mers changed countenance, and listened as with painful and uneasy 
attention. 

" I will tell you," said the curate, after a short pause_ (lowering 
his voice) — " I will tell you : Aram did undergo examination— I 
was present at it : but from his character, and the respect univer- 
sally felt for him, the examination was close and secret. He was 
not, mark me, suspected of the murder of the unfortunate Clarke, 
nor was any suspicion of murder generally entertained until all 
means of discovering Clarke were found wholly unavailing ; but of 
sharing with Houseman some part of the jewels with which Clarke 
was known to have left the town. This suspicion of robbery could 
not, however, be brought home, even to Houseman, and Aram was 
satisfactorily acquitted from the imputation. But in the minds of 
some present at that examination, a doubt lingered, and this doubt 



J5UCKXE AKAM. 225 

eertainly deeply wounded a man so proud and susoeptible. This, 
1 believe, was the real reason of his quitting Knaresborough 
almost immediately after that examination. And some of us, wno 
felt for him, and were convinced of his innocence, persuaded the 
others to hush up the circumstance of his examination, nor has it 
generallv transpired, even to this day, when the whole business ia 
well-nigh forgot. But as to his subsequent improvement in cir- 
cumstances, there is no doubt of his aunt's having left him a legaoy 
suttieieivt to account for it." 

Walter bowed his head, and felt his suspicions waver, when the 
curate renewed : — 

" Yet it is but fair to tell you, who seem so deeply interested in 
the fate of Clarke, that since that period rumours nave reached my 
ear that the woman at whose house Aram lodged, has from time to 
time dropped words that require explanation — hints that she could 
tell a tale — that she knows more than men will readily believe — ■ 
nay, once she is even reported to have said that the life of Eugene 
Aram was in her power. ' 

" Father of mercy ! and did Inquiry sleep on words so calling 
for its liveliest examination ?" 

" Not wholly. When the words were reported to me, I went to 
the house, but found the woman, whose habits and character are 
low and worthless, w.as abrupt and insolent in her manner ; and 
after in vain endeavouring to call forth some explanation of the words 
she was said to have uttered, Heft the house fully persuaded that she 
had only given vent to a meaningless boast, and that the idle words 
of a disorderly gossip could not be taken as evidence against a maD 
of the blameless character and austere habits of Aram. Since, 
however, you have now reawakened investigation, we will visit her 
before you leave the town : and it may be as well, too, that House- 
man should undergo a further investigation before we suffer him 
to depart." 

"I thank you! I thank you! I will not let slip one thread of 
this dark clue ! " 

" And now," said the curate, pointing to a decent house, " we 
have reached the lodging Clarke occupied in the town ! " 

An old man of respectable appearance opened the door, and wel- 
comed the curate and his companion with an air of cordial respect, 
which attested the well-deserved popularity of the former. 

" We have come," said the curate, " to ask you some questions 
respecting Daniel Clarke, whom you remember as your lodger. 
This px-nueman is a relation of his, and interested deeply in his 
fate ! " 

" What, sir ! " quoth the old man ; " and have you, his relation, 
never heard of Mr. Clarke since he left the town ? Strange ! — this 
room, this very room, was the one Mr. Clarke occupied, and next 
to this (here — opening a door) was his bedchamber ! 

It was not without powerful emotion that Walter found himself 
thus within the apartment of his lost father. What a painful, 
what a gloomy, yet sacred interest, everything around instantly 



226 ELGENK jlRAM. 

assumed ! The old-fashioned and heavy chairs — the brown 
wainscot walls — the little cupboard recessed as it were to the right 
of the fireplace, and piled with morsels of Indian china and long 
taper wine-glasses — the small window-panes set deep in the wall, 
giving a dim view of a bleak and melancholy-looking garden in 
the real* — yea, the very floor he trod — the very table on which he 
leaned — the very hearth, dull and fireless as it was, opposite his 

faze — all took a familiar meaning in his eye, and breathed a house- 
old voice into his ear. And when he entered the inner room, how, 
even to suffocation, were those strange, half-sad, yet not all bitter 
emotions increased. There was the bed on which his father had rested 
on the night before what ? perhaps his murder ! The bed, pro- 
bably a relic from the castle, when its antique furniture was setup 
to p ublic sale, was hung with faded tapestry, and above its dark 
and polished summit were hearselike and heavy trappings. Old 
commodes of rudely-carved oak, a discoloured glass in a japan 
frame, a ponderous arm-chair of Elizabethan fashion, and covered 
with the same tapestry as the bed, altogether gave that uneasy and 
sepulchral impression to the mind so commonly produced by the 
relics of a mouldering and forgotten antiquity. 

" It looks cheerless, sir," said the owner : " but then we have 
not had any regular lodger for years ; it is just the same as when 
Mr. Clarke lived here. But bless you, sir, he made the dull rooms 
look gay enough. He was a blithesome gentleman. He and his 
friends, Mr. Houseman especially, used to mako the walls ring 
again when they were over their cups ! " 

" It might have been better for Mr. Clarke," said the curate, 
" had he chosen his comrades with more discretion. Houseman 
was not a creditable, perhaps not a safe, companion." 

" That was no business of mine then," quoth the lodgingJetter ; 
" but it might be now, since I have been a married man ! 

The curate smiled. " Perhaps you, Mr. Moor, bore a part in 
those revels?" 

" Why, indeed, Mr. Clarke would occasionally make me take a 
glass or so, sir." 

"And you must then have heard the conversations that took 
place between Houseman and him? Did Mr. Clarke ever, in 
those conversations, intimate an intention of leaving the town 
soon ? And where, if so, did he talk of going ? " 

" Oh ! first to London. I have often heard him talk of going to 
London, and then taking a trip to see some relations of his in a 
distant part of the country. I remember his caressing a little boy 
of my brother's : you know Jack, sir, not a little boy now, almost 
as tall as this gentleman. ' Ah,' said he, with a sort of sigh, 'ah ! 
I have a boy at home about this age, — when shall I see him 
again?'" 

"When indeed!" thought Walter, turning away his face at 
this anecdote, to bim so naturally affecting. 

" And the night that Clarke left you, were you aware of his 
»sence?" 



KIK.CNK ARAM. Zll 

"No! he went to his room at his usual hour, which was late, 
jn d the next morning I found his bed had not been slept in, and that 
he was gone— gone with all his jewels, money, and valuables; 
heavy luggage he had none. He was a cunning gentleman ; he 
never loved paying a bill. Ho was greatly in debt in different 
parts of the town, though he had not been here long. He ordered 
evervthing, and paid for nothing." 

"Walter groaned. It was his father's character exaotly; partly 
it might be from dishonest principles superadded to the earlier 
t.-elings of liis nature ; but partly also from that temperament, at 
once careless and procrastinating, which, more often than vice, 
1 ses men the advantage of reputation. 

" Then in your own mind, and from your knowledge o£ him," 
r. uewed the curate, " you would suppose that Clarke's disap- 
pearance was intentional ; that, though nothing has since been 
heard of him, none of the blacker rumours afloat were well- 
founded ? " 

"I confess, sir, begging this gentleman's pardon, who you say 
is a relation, I confess I see no reason to think otherwise." 

" Was Mr. Aram, Eugene Aram, ever a guest of Clarke's ? Did 
you ever see them together?" 

"Never at this house. I fancy Houseman once presented Mr. 
Aram to Clarke ; and that they may have met and conversed some 
two or three times — not more, I believe ; they were scarcely con- 
genial spirits, sir." 

Waiter, having now recovered his self-possession, entered into 
the conversation ; and endeavoured, by as minute an examination 
ns his ingenuity could suggest, to obtain some additional light 
upon the mysterious subject so deeply at his heart. Nothing, 
however, of any effectual import was obtained from the good man 
of the house. He had evidently persuaded himself that Clarke's 
disappearance was easily accounted for, and would scarcely lend 
attention to any other suggestion than that of Clarke's dishonesty. 
Nor did his recollection of the meetings between Houseman and 
Clarke furnish him with anything worthy of narration. With a 
spirit somewhat damped and disappointed, Walter, uecompaniad 
by tie curilf, recommenced his expedition. 



228 EUGENE AEAM. 



CHAPTER XI 

QHIKF IN A RUFFIAN— THE CHAMBER OF EARLY DEATH.— A HoilSIT 
YET MOMENTOUS CONFESSION. — THE EARTH'S SECRETS. — THE 
CAVERN.— THE ACCUSATION. 



All is not well, 

I doubt some foul play. 

* * * * 

Foul deeds will rise, 
Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes. — Hamlet. 



As they passed through the street, they perceived three or four 
persons standing round the open door of a house of ordinary 
description, the windows of which were partially closed. 

"It is the house," said the curate, "in which Houseman's 
daughter died — poor — poor child ! Yet why mourn for the young? 
Better that the light cloud should fade away into heaven with 
the morning breath, than travel through the weary day to gather 
in darkness and end in storm." 

" Ah, sir !" said an old man, leaning on his stick, and lifting 
his hat in obeisance to the curate, " the father is within, and takes 
on bitterly. He drives them all away from the room, and sits 
moaning by the bedside, as if he was a-going out of his mind 
Won't your reverence go into him a bit ?" 

The curate looked at Walter inquiringly. " Perhaps," said 
the latter, " you had better go in : I will wait without." 

While the curate hesitated, they heard a voice in the passage, 
and presently Houseman was seen at the far end, driving some 
women before him with vehement gesticulations. 

" I tell you, ye hell-hags !" shrieked his harsh and now strain- 
ing voice, " that ye suffered her to die. Why did ye not send to 
London for physicians ? Am I not rich enough to buy my 

child's life at any price ? By the living ! I would have turned 

your very bodies into gold to have saved her. But she's dead ! 

and I out of my sight — out of my way ! " And with 

his hands clenched, his brows knit, and his head uncovered, 
Houseman sallied forth from the door, and Walter recognised the 
traveller of the preceding night. He stopped abruptly as* he saw 
the little knot without, and scowled round at each of them with 
a malignant and ferocious aspect. "Very well — it's very well, 
neighbours ! " said he at length, with a fierce laugh : " this is kind ! 
You have come to welcome Richard Houseman home, have ye ?— 
Good, good ! Not to gloat at his distress ? — Lord ! no. Ye have no 
idle curiosity — no prying, searching, gossiping devil within ye, that 
makes ye love to flock, and gape, and chatter, when poor men 
suffer ! this in all pure compassion ; and Houseman, the good, 



KLUK.NE AttAal, ■>■:* 

P'-ntlo, peaceful, honest Houseman, you feel for him, — J know von 

do! Harkye: begone — away — march— trump — or 11a, ha! 

' here thev g'>— there they go'." laughing wildly again as the 
iri-j-hti'iU'd neighbours shrunk from the spot, leaving only Walter 
anil ihe clergyman with the childless man. 

'" lie comforted, Houseman!" said Summers, soothingly: "it is 
a dreadful ailliction that you have sustained. I knew your daughter 
well : you may have heard her speak of me. Let us in, and try 
what heavenly comfort there is in prayer." 

" Pray i r ! pooh ! 1 am Richard Houseman !" 

" Lives there one man fur whom prayer is unavailing ?" 

" Out, canter, out ! My pretty Jane ! — and she laid ncr head on 
my bosom, — and looked up in my lace, — and so — died !" 

" Come," said the curate, placing his hand on Houseman's arm, 
" come." 

Before he could proceed, Houseman, who was muttering to 
himself, shook him off roughly, and hurried away up the street ; 
but alter he had gone a few paces, he turned back, and, approach- 
ing the curate, said, in a more collected tone, — " I pray you, sir, 
since you are a clergyman (I recollect your face, and I recollect 
Jane said you had been good to her) — I pray you go, and say a few 
words over her : but stay — don't bring in my name — you under- 
stand. I don't wish God to recollect that there lives such a man 
as he who now addresses vou. Halloo! [shouting to the women], 
my hat, and stick too. Fal lal la ! fat la ! — why should these 
things make us play the madman ! It is a fine day, sir : we shall 

have a late winter. Curse the b ! how long she is. Yet 

the hat was left below. But when a death is in the house, sir, it 
throws things into confusion : don't you find it so ?" 

Here, one of the women, pale, trembling, and tearful, brought 
the ruffian his hat ; and, placing it deliberately on his head, and 
bowing with a dreadful and convulsive attempt to smile, he 
walked >lowly away, and disappeared. 

" What strange mummers grief makes ! " said the curate. " It 
is an appalling spectacle when it thus wrings out feeling from a 
man of that mould ! But, pardon me, my young friend ; let me 
tarrv here for a moment." 

" 1 will enter the house with you," said Walter. And the two 
men walked in, and in a few moments they stood within the 
chamber of death. 

The face of the deceased had not yet suffered the last withering 
'hansre. Her young countenance was hushed and serene; and, 
but fur the fixedness of the smile, you might have thought the lips 
moved. So delicate, fair, and gentle were the features, that it was 
scarcely possible to believe such a scion could spring from such a 
stock ; and it seemed no longer wonderful that a thing so young, 
so innocent, so lovely, and so early blighted, should have touched 
tint reckless and dark nature which rejected all other invasion of 
the setter emotions. The curate wiped his eyes, and kneeling 
down prayed, if not for the dead (who, as our Church teaches, are 
titvond human intercession) — perhaps lor the father she had left cm 



2S0 EDGEXE ARAI.1. 

earth, more to be pitied of the two ! Nor to "Walter was the scene 
without something more impressive and. thrilling than its mere 
pathos alone. He, now standing beside the corpse of Houseman's 
child, was son to the man of whose murder Houseman had been 
suspected. The childless and the fatherless ! might there be no 
"etribution here ! 

When the curate's prayer was over, and he and Walter escaped 
from the incoherent blessings and complaints of the women of the 
house, they, with difficulty resisting the impression the scene had 
left upon their minds, once more resumed their errand. 

" This is no time," said Walter, musingly, " for an examination 
of Houseman ; yet it must not be forgotten." 

The curate did not reply for some moments ; and then, as an 
answer to the remark, observed that the conversation they antici- 
pated with Aram's former hostess might throw some li^ht on their 
researches. They now proceeded to another part of the town, and 
arrived at a lonely and desolate-looking house, which seemed to 
wear in its very'appearance something strange, sad, and ominous. 
Some houses have an expression, as it were, in their outward 
aspect, that sinks unaccountably into the heart — a dim oppressive 
eloquence, which dispirits and affects. You say, some story must 
be attached to those walls ; some legendary interest, of a darker 
nature, ought to be associated with the mute stone and mortar : 
you feel a mingled awe and curiosity creep over you as you gaze. 
Such was the description of the house that the young adventurer 
now surveyed. It was of antique architecture, not uncommon in 
old towns: gable-ends rose from the roof; dull, small, latticed 
panes were sunk deep in the grey, discoloured wall ; the pale, in 
part, was broken and jagged ; and rank weeds sprang up in the 
neglected garden, through which they walked towards the porch. 
The door was open ; they entered, and found an old woman of 
coarse appearance sitting by the fireside, and gazing on space with 
that vacant stare which so often characterises the repose and 
relaxation of the uneducated poor. Walter felt an involuntary 
thrill of dislike come over him, as he looked at the solitary inmate 
of the solitary house. 

" Heyday, sir!" said she in a grating voice ; "and what now! 
Oh ! Mr. Summers, is it you ? You're welcome, sir. I wishes I 
eould offer you a glass of summut, but the bottle's dry — he ! he !" 
pointing with a revolting grin to an empty bottle that stood on a 
niche within the hearth. " I don't know how it is, sir, but I 
never wants to eat ; but ah ! 'tis the liquor that does un 
good ! " 

" You have lived a long time in this house ?" said the curate. 

" A long time — some thirty years an* more." 

" You remember your lodger, Mr. Aram .' " 

" A— well— yes ! " 

" An excellent man " 

" Humph." 

" A most admirable man ! " 

" A -humph ! he ! — humph ! that's neither here nor thef9." 



BtTOENE AfiAM. 25! 

" Why, you don't seem to think as all the rest of the world doeb 
with regard to him ! " 

" I knows what I knows." 

" Ah ! by the bye, you have some cock-and-a-bull story about 
him, I fancy, but you never could explain yourself ; it is 
merely for the love of seeming wise that you invented it ; eh, 
Goody?" 

The old woman shook her head, and crossing 1 her hands on her 
knee, replied with peculiar emphasis, but in a very low and 
whispered voice, " I could hang him ! 

•'Pooh!" 

"Tell you I could!" 

" "Well, let's have the story then !" 

" No, no ! I have not told it to ne'er a one yet ; and I won't for 
nothing. What will you give me ? — Make it worth my while ! " 

" Tell us all, honesty, fairly, and fully, and you shall have five 
golden guineas. There, Goody." 

Roused by this promise, the dame looked up with more of energy 
than she had yet shown, and muttered to herself, rocking her 
chair to and fro, " Aha ! why not ? no fear now — both gone — can't 
now murder the poor old cretur, as the wretch once threatened. 
Five golden guineas — five, did you say, sir, — five?" 

" Ay, and perhaps our bounty may not stop there," said the 
eurate. 

Still the old woman hesitated, and still she muttered to herself 
but, after some further prelude, and some further enticement from 
the curate, the which we spare our reader, she came at length to 
^he following narration : — 

" It was on the 7th of February, in the year '44 ; yes, '44, about 
six o'clock in the evening, for I was a-washing in the kitchen, 
when Mr. Aram called to me, an' desired of me to make a fire up- 
stairs, which I did : he then walked out. Some hours afterwards, 
it might be two in the morning, I was lying awake, for I was 
mighty bad with the toothache, when I heard a noise below, and 
two or three voices. On this I was greatly afeard, and got out o* 
bed, and, opening the door, I saw Mr. Houseman and Mr. Clarke 
coming upstairs to Mr. Aram's room, and Mr. Aram followed them. 
They shut the door, and stayed there, it might be an hour. Well, 
I could not a-ihink what could make so shy an' resarved a gentle- 
man as Mr. Aram admit these 'ere wild madcaps like at that hour ; 
an' I lay awake a-thinking an' a- thinking till I heard the door open 
acrin, an' I went to listen at the keyhole, an' Mr. Clarke said : ' It 
will soon be morning, and we must get off.' They then all three 
left the hou.-,e ; but I could not sleep, an' I got up afore five o'clock, 
and about that hour Mr. Aram an' Mr. Houseman returned, anu 
they both glowered at me, as if they did not like to find me a-stir- 
ring ; an' Mr. Aram went into his room, and Houseman turned 
and frowned at me as black as night. — Lord have mercy on me ! 
I see him now ! An' I was sadly feared, an' I listened at the key- 
hole, an' I heard Houseman say : ' If the woman comes in, she 11 
tell.' ' What can she tell ? ' sa ; d Mr. Aram : ' poor simple thing, 



202 EUGBNB AEA.M. 

she knows nothing.' "With that, Houseman said, says he : 'If she 
lolls that I am here, it will be enough; but however," — with a 
shocking oath, — ' we'll take an opportunity to shoot her.' " 

" On that I was so frighted that I went away back to my own 
room, and did not stir till they had a-gone out, and then " 

" What time was that ? " 

" About seven o'clock. "Well, you put me out ! where was I ? — ■ 
Well, I went into Mr. Aram's room, an' I seed they had been burn- 
ing a fire, an' that all the ashes were taken out o' the grate ; so I 
went an' looked at the rubbish behind the house, and there sure 
enough I seed the ashes, and among 'em several bits o' cloth and 
linen which seemed to belong to wearing-apparel ; and there, too, 
was a handkerchief which I had obsarved Houseman wear (for it 
was a very curious handkerchief, all spotted), many's the time, and 
there was blood on it, 'bout the size of a shilling. An' afterwards 
I seed Houseman, an' I showed him the handkerchief ; and I said 
to him, ' "What has come of Clarke ? ' an' he frowned, and, looking 
at me, said, ' Hark ye, I know not what you mean : but, as sure as 
the devil keeps watch for souls, I will shoot you through the head if 
you ever let that d — d tongue of yours let slip a single word about 
Clarke, or me, or Mr Aram ; so look to yourself ! ' 

" An' I was all scared, and trimbled from limb to limb ; an' for 
two whole yearn afterwards (long arter Aram and Houseman were 
both gone) I niver could so much as open my lips on the matter ; 
and afore he went, Mr. Aram would sometimes look at me, not 
sternly-lite as the villain Houseman, but as if he would read to the 
bottom of my ha&rt. Oh i I was as if you had taken a mountain 
off o' me, when he an' Houseman left the town ; for sure as the sun 
shines I believes, from what I have now said, that they two mur- 
dered Clarke on that same February night. An' now, Mr. Summers, 
I feels more easy than I has felt for many a long day ; an' if I have 
not told it afore, it is because I thought of Houseman's frown, and 
his horrid words ; but summut of it would ooze out of my tongue 
now an' then, for it's a hard thing, sir, to know a secret o' that 
sort and be quiet and still about it ; and, indeed, I was not the 
same cretur when I knew it as I was afore, for it made me take to 
anything rather than thinking ; and that's the reason, sir, I lost 
the good crakter I used to have." 

Such, somewhat abridged from its " says he," and " says I " -its 
involutions and its tautologies, was the story which "Walter held 
his breath to hear. But events thicken, and the maze is nearly 
thridden. 

"Not a moment now should be lost," said the curate, as they left 
the house. " Let us at once proceed to a very able magistrate, to 
whom I can introduce you, and who lives a little way out of the 
town." 

*' As you will," said "Walter, in an altered and hollow voice. "I 
am as a man standing on an eminence, who views the whole scene 
he is Co travel over, stretched before him ; but is dizzy and bewil- 
dered by the height which he has reached. I know — I feel — that 
I am on the brink of fearful and dread discoveries ; — pray God 



EUGE.NC AKAM. '^3J 

that But heed me not, sir, — heed me not — let us . on — 

on ! " 

It was now approaching towards the evening ; and as they walked 
on, having left the town, the sun poured his last beams on a group 
of persons that appeared hastily collecting and gathering round a 
spot, well known in the neighbourhood of Rnaresborough, called 
Thistle Hill. 

" Let us avoid the crowd," said the curate. " Tet, what, I wonder, 
can be its cause ? " While he spoke, two peasants hurried by 
towards the throng. 

" What is the meaning of the crowd yonder? " asked the curate. 

" I don't know exactly, your honour ; but I hears as how Jem 
Ninnings, digging for stone for the limekiln, have dug out a big 
wooden chest." 

A shout from the group broke in on the peasant's explanation — 
a sudden, simultaneous shout, but not of joy ; something of dismay 
and horror seemed to breathe in the sound. 

Walter looked at the curate : an impulse — a sudden instinct — 
seemed to attract them involuntarily to the spot whence that sound 
arose ; — they quickened their pace — they made their way through 
the throng. A deep chest, that had been violently forced, stood 
before them : its contents had been dragged to day, and now lay 
on the sward — a bleached and mouldering skeleton ! Several of 
the bones were loose, and detached from the body. A general 
hubbub of voices from the spectators, — inquiry — guess — fear — 
wonder — rang confusedly round. 

" Yes ! " said one old man, with grey hair, leaning on a pickaxe % 
" it is now about fourteen years since the Jew pedlar disappeared ;. 
— these are probably his bones — he was supposed to have been 
murdered ! " 

"Nay!" screeched a woman, drawing back a child who, all 
unalarmed, was about to touch the ghastly relics — " Nay, the pedlar 
was heard of afterwards ! I'll tell ye, ye may be sure these are the 
bones of Clarke — Daniel Clarke, whom the country was so stirred 
about, when we were young ! " 

"Right, dame, right ! It is Clarke's skeleton," was the simul- 
taneous cry. And Walter, pressing forward, stood over the bones, 
and waved his hand, as to guard them from further insult. His 
sudden appearance — his tall stature— his wild gesture — the horror 
— the paleness — the grief of his countenance — struck and appalled 
all present. He remained speechless, and a sudden silence suc- 
ceeded the late clamour. 

"And what do you here, fools?" said a voice abruptly. The 
spectators turned — a new-comer had been added to the throng ; — it 
was Richard Houseman. His dress, loose and disarranged — his 
flushed cheeks and rolling eyes — betrayed the source of consolation 
to which he had flown from his domestic affliction. " What do ye 
here?" said he, reeling forward. "Ha! human bones! and whose 
may they be, think ye ? " 

" They are Clarke's ! " said the woman, who had first given rise- 
to that supposition. " Yes, we think they are Daniel Clarke's — ■ 



234 ECGENE AEAM. 

he who disappeared some years ago ! " cried two or three voices in 
concert. 

" Clarke's ?" repeated Houseman, stooping down and picking up 
a thigh-bone, which lay at a little distance from the rest ; " Clarke's 1 
ha ! ha ! they are no more Clarke's than mine ! " 

"Behold!" shouted "Walter, in a voice that rang from cliff to 
plain, — and springing forward, he seized Houseman with a giant's 
grasp,—" Behold the murderer !" 

As if the avenging voice of Heaven had spoken, a thrilling, an 
electric conviction darted through the crowd. Each of the elder 
spectators remembered at once the person of Houseman, and the 
suspicion that had attached to his name. 

" Seize him ! seize him ! " burst forth from twenty voices. 
" Houseman is the murderer !" 

" Murderer ! " faltered Houseman, trembling in the iron hands 
of Walter — " murderer of whom ? I tell ye these are not Clarke's 
bones ! " 

" Where then do they lie ?" cried his arrestor. 

Pale-^-confused — conscience-stricken — the bewilderment of in- 
toxication mingling with that of fear, Houseman turned a ghastly 
look around him, and, shrinking from the eyes of all, reading in 
the eyes of all his condemnation, he gasped out, "Search St. 
Robert's Cave, in the turn at the entrance ! " 

"Away!" rang the deep voice of Walter, on the instant— 
" away ! — to the Cave — to the Cave ! " 

On the banks of the river Md, whose waters keep an everlasting 
murmur to the crags and trees that overhang them, is a wild and 
dreary cavern, hollowed from a rock,which, according to tradition, 
was formerly the hermitage of one of those early enthusiasts who 
made their solitude in the sternest recesses of earth, and from the 
austerest thoughts, and the bitterest penance, wrought their joyless 
offerings to the great Spirit of the lovely world. To this desolate 
spot, called, from the name of its once-celebrated eremite, St. 
Robert's Cave, the crowd now swept, increasing its numbers as it 
advanced. 

The old man who had discovered the unknown remains, which 
were gathered up and made a part of the procession, led the way -, 
Houseman, placed between two strong and active men, went next ; 
and Walter followed behind, fixing his eyes mutely upon the 
ruffian. The curate had had the precaution to send on before for 
torches, for the wintry evening now darkened around them, and 
the light from the torch-bearers, who met them at the cavern, cast 
forth its red and lurid flare at the mouth of the chasm. One of 
these torches Walter himself seized, and his was the first step that 
entered the gloomy passage. At this place and time, Houseman, 
who till then, throughout their short journey, had seemed to have 
recovered a sort of dogged self-possession, recoiled, and the big 
drops of fear or agony fell fast from his brow. He was dragged 
forward forcibly into the cavern ; and now as the space filled, and 
the torches nickered against the grim walls, glaring on faces which 
caught, from the deep and thrilling contasdon of a common senti- 



KUUKNK A HAM. 3-5 

ment, one common expression, it was not well possible for the 
wildest imagination to conceive a scene better fitted for the un- 
hallowed burial-place of the murdered dead. 

The eyes of all now turned upon Houseman ; and he, after twice 
vainly endeavouring to speak, for the words died inarticulate and 
choked within him, advancing a few steps, pointed towards a spot 
on which, the next moment, fell the concentrated light of every 
torch. An indescribable and universal murmur, and then a breath- 
less silence, ensued. On the spot which Houseman had indicated, 
— with the head placed to the right, lay what once had been a 
human body ! 

" Can you swear," said the priest, solemnly, as he turned to 
Houseman, " that these are the bones of Clarke ?" 

"Before God, I can swear it!" replied Houseman, at length 
finding voice. 

" My Father ! " broke from Walter's lips, as he sank upon his 
knees ; and that exclamation completed the awe and horror which 
prevailed in the breasts of all present. Stung by the sense of the 
danger he had drawn upon himself, and despair and excitement 
restoring, in some measure, not only his natural hardihood but his 
natural astuteness, Houseman here mastering his emotions, and 
making that effort which he was afterwards enabled to follow up 
with an advantage to himself, of which he could not then have 
dreamed ; — Houseman, I say, cried aloud, — 

" But I did not do the deed : / am not the murderer." 

" Speak out ! whom do you accuse ?" said the curate. 

Drawing his breath hard, and setting his teeth, as with some 
steeled determination, Houseman replied, — 

" The murderer is Eugene Aram ! " 

"Aram!" shouted Walter, starting to his feet: "0 God, thy 
hand hath directed me hither ! " And suddenly and at once sense 
left him, and he fell, as if a shot had pierced through his heart, 
beside the remains of that father whom he had thus mysteriously 
disoovered. 



25M ECTGENE AJ&4JS. 



BOOK V 

CHAPTER I. 

GEASSDALE. — THE MORNING OF THE MABEIAQ2. — THE CLONE'S 
GOSSIP.— THE BEIDE AT HEE TOILET.— THE AEEIVAL. 



Jam veniet virgo, jam dicetur Hymenseus, 

Hymen, O Hymensee ! Hymen ades, O Hymensee !* 

Catullus: " Carmen Nuptiate.' 



It was now the morning in which Eugene Aram was to be mar- 
ried to Madeline Lester. The student's house had been set in order 
for the arrival of the bride, and though it was yet early morn, two 
old women whom his domestic (now not the only one, for a buxom 
lass of eighteen had been transplanted from Lester's household, to 
meet the additional cares that the change of circumstances brought 
to Aram's) had invited to assist her in arranging what was already 
arranged, were bustling about the lower apartments, and making 
matters as they call it, " tidy." 

" Them flowers look but poor things after all," muttered an old 
crone, whom our readers will recognise as Dame Darkmans, placing 
a bowl of exotics on the table. " They does not look nigh so cheerful 
as them as grows in the open air." 

" Tush ! Goody Darkmans," said the second gossip. " They be 
much prettier and liner to my mind ; and so said Miss Nelly, when 
she plucked them last night and sent me down with them. They 
says there is not a blade o' grass that the master does not know. 
He must be a good man to love the things of the held so." 

" Ho ! " said Dame Darkmans, " ho ! when Joe Wrench was 
hanged for shooting the lord's keeper, and he mounted the scaffold 
wid' a nosegay in his hand, he said, in a peevish voice, says he ; 
' Why does not they give me a tarnation ? I always loved them 
sort o' flowers ; I wore them when I went a courting Bess Lucas ; 
an' I would like to die with one in my hand ! ' so a man may like 
flowers, and be but a hempen dog after all ! " 

"Now don't you, Goody ; be still, can't you ! what a tale for a 
marriage day ! " 

" Tally vally," returned the grim hag ; " many a blessing carries 
a curse in its arms, as the new moon carries the old. This won't 
be one of your happy weddings, I tell ye." 

" And why d'ye say that ?" 

* Now shall the virgin arrivp ; nowshall be sung; the Hymeneal — Hymen Hyma 
n«eus ! Be present, O Hymen Hymenseus ' 



-KUGEXE AKAM. 237 

" J)id you ever see a man with a look like that make a happy 
husband ? — No, no ; can ye fancy the merry laugh o' childer in this 
house, or a babe on the father's knee, or the happy still smile on 
the mother's winsome face, some few year hence ? JSo, Madge ! the 
de'il has set his black claw on the man's brow." 

" Hush ! hush, Goody Darkmans, he may hear o' ye," said the 
second gossip ; who, having now done all that remained to do, had 
seated herself down by the window ; while the more ominous crone, 
leaning over Aram's oak chair, uttered from thence her sibyl 
bodings. 

"No," replied Mother Darkmans, "I seed him go out an hour 
agone, when the sun was just on the rise ; and I said, when I seed 
him stroam into the wood yonder, and the ould leaves splashed in 
the damp under his feet ; and his hat was aboon his brows, and his 
lips went so ; I said, says I, 'tis not the man that will make a 
hearth bright, that would walk thus on his marriage day. But I 
knows what I knows ; and I minds what I seed last night." 

" Why, what did you see last night !" asked the listener, with a 
trembling voice : for Mother Darkmans was a great teller of ghost 
and witch tales, and a certain ineffable awe of her dark gipsy fea- 
tures and malignant words had circulated pretty largely through- 
out the village. 

" Why, I sat up here with the ould deaf woman, and we were a 
drinking the health of the man and his wife that is to be, and it 
was nigh twelve o' the clock ere I minded it was time to go home. 
Well, so I puts on my cloak, and the moon was up, an' I goes along 
by the wood, and up by Fairlegh Field, an' I was singing the 
ballad on Joe TV rench's hanging, for the spirats had made me 
gamesome, when I sees summut dark creep, creep, but iver so fast 
arter me over the field, and making right ahead to the village. 
And I stands still, an' I was not a bit afeard : but sure I thought 
it was no living cretur, at the first sight. And so it comes up faster 
and faster, and then I sees it was not one thing, but a many, many 
things, and they darkened the whole field afore me. And. what 
d'ye think they was ? — a whole body o' grey rats, thousands and 
thousands on 'em, and they were making away from the out- 
buildings here. For sure they knew — the witch things, — that an 
ill-luck sat on the spot. And so I stood aside by the tree, an' I 
laughed to look on the ugsome creturs, as they swept close by me, 
tramp, tramp ; an' they never heeded me a jot ; but some on 'em 
looked aslant at me with their glittering eyes, and showed their 
white teeth, as if they grinned, and were saying to me, ' Ha, ha ! 
Goody Darkmans, the house that we leave is a falling house ; for 
the devil will have his own.' " 

In some parts of the country, and especially in that where our 
scene is laid, no omen is more superstitiously believed evil than 
the departure of these loathsome animals from their accustomed 
habitation : the instinct which is supposed to make them desert an 
unsafe tenement, is supposed also to make them predict, in deser- 
tion, ill-fortune to the possessor. But while the ears of the listen- 
ing gussip were still tingling with this narration, the dark figure 



£38 EUGENE AEAM 

of the student passed the window, and the old women starting up, 
appeared in all the bustle of preparation, as Aram now entered the 
apartment. 

"A happy day, your honour — a happy good morning," said both 
the crones in a breath : but the blessing of the worse-natured waa 
vented in so harsh a croak, that Aram turned round as if struck by 
the sound ; and still more disliking the well-remembered aspect of 
the person .from whom it came, waved his hand impatiently, and 
bade them begone. 

" A-whish — a-whish ! " muttered Dame Darkmans, " to spake so 
to the poor ; but the rats never lie, the bonny things ! " 

Aram threw himself into his chair, and remained for some mo- 
ments absorbed in a reverie, which did not bear the aspect of 
gloom. Then, walking once or twice to and fro the apartment, he 
stopped opposite the chimney-piece, over which were slung the 
fire-arms, which he never omitted to keep charged and primed. 

" Humph ! " he said, half aloud, "ye have been but idle ser- 
vants ; and now ye are but little likely ever to requite the care I 
have bestowed upon you." 

With that, a faint smile crossed his features, and turning away 
he ascended the stairs that led to the lofty chamber in which he 
had been so often wont to outwatch the stars, 

" The souls of systems, and the lords of life. 
Through their wide empires." 

Before we follow him to his high and lonely retreat we will bring 
the reader to the manor-house, where all was already gladness and 
quiet but deep joy. 

It wanted about three hours to that fixed for the marriage ; and 
Aram was not expected at the manor-house till an hour before the 
celebration of the event. Nevertheless, the bells were already 
ringing loudly and blithely ; and the near vicinity of the church 
to the house brought that sound, so inexpressibly buoyant and 
cheering, to the ears of the bride, with a noisy merriment that 
seemed like the hearty voice of an old-fashioned friend, who seeks 
in his greeting rather cordiality than discretion. Before her glass 
stood the beautiful, the virgin, the glorious form of Madeline Les- 
ter ; and Ellinor, with trembling hands (and a voice between a 
laugh and a cry), was braiding up her sister's rich hair, and 
uttering her hopes, her wishes, her congratulations. The small 
lattice was open, and the air came rather chillingly to the bride'? 
bosom. 

" It is a gloomy morning, dearest Nell," said she, shivering; 
" the winter seems about to begin at last." 

" Stay, I will shut the window ; the sun is struggling with the 
clouds at present, but I am sure it will clear up by-and-by. Yon 
don't — you don't leave us — the word must out — till evening." 

" Don't cry ! " said Madeline, half weeping herself ; and sitting 
down she drew Ellinor to her ; and the two sisters, who had never 
been parted since birth, exchanged tears that were natural, though 
scarcely the unmixed tears of grief 



KOGENE AEAM, 23tf 

"And what pleasant evenings we shall have," said Madeline, 
holding her sister's hands, " in the Christmas time ! You will be 
staying with us, you know ; and that pretty old room in the north 
of the house Eugene has already ordered to be fitted up for you. 
Well, and my dear father, and dear "Walter, who will be returned 
long ere then, will walk over to see us, and praise my housekeep- 
ing, and so forth. And then, after dinner, we will draw near the 
fire, — I next to Eugene, and my father, our guest, on the other side 
of me, with his long grey hair, and his good fine face, with a tear 
of kind feeling in his eye : you know that look he has whenever 
he is affected i And at a little distance on the other side of the 
hearth will be you ; — and "Walter — I suppose we must make room 
for him. And Eugene, who will be then the liveliest of you all, 
shall read to us with his soft clear voice, or tell us all about the 
birds and flowers, and strange things in other countries. And 
then, after supper, we will walk half-way home across that beauti- 
ful valley — beautiful even in winter — with my father and "Walter, 
and count the stars, and take new lessons in astronomy, and hear 
tales about the astrologers and the alchymists, with their fine old 
dreams. Ah ! it will be such a happy Christmas, Ellinor ! And 
then, when spring comes, some fine morning — finer than this — ■ 
when the birds are about, and the leaves getting green, and the 
flowers springing up every day, I shall be called in to help your 
toilet, as you have helped mine, and to go with you to church, 
though not, alas ! as your bridesmaid. Ah ! whom shall we have 
for that duty?" 

" Pshaw ! " said Ellinor, smiling through her tears. 

"While the sisters were thus engaged, and Madeline was trying, 
with her innocent kindness of heart, to exhilarate the spirits, so 
naturally depressed, of her doting sister, the sound of carriage- 
wheels was heard in the distance ; nearer, nearer ; — now the sound 
stopped, as at the gate ; — now fast, faster, — fast as the postilions 
could ply whip, and the horses tear along, while the groups in the 
churchyard ran forth to gaze, and the bells rang merrily all the 
while, two chaises whirled by Madeline's window, and stopped at 
the porch of the house : the sisters had flown in surprise to the 
easement. 

" It is — it is — good God ! it is "Walter," cried Ellinor ; " but how 
pale he looks ! " 

" And who are those strange men with him i " faltered Madeline, 
alarmed, though she knew not why. 



240 F.O&ENE ASAM. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE SZZZE3T ALONE IN HIS CHAMBEE. — THE INTEEEI7PTION. — 
FAITHFUL LOVE. 



Nequicquam thalarao graves 

Hastas 

Vitabis, strepitumque, et celerem scqui 
Ajacem.* — Horat. Od. xv. lib. J. 



Axone in his favourite chamber, the instruments of science 
around him, and books, some of astronomical research, some of less 
lofty but yet abstruser lore, scattered on the tables, Eugene Aram 
indulged the last meditation he believed likely to absorb his 
thoughts before that great change of life -which was to bless soli- 
tude with a companion. 

" Yes," said he, pacing the apartment with folded arms,— "yes, 
all is safe ! He will not again return ; thedead sleeps now with- 
out a witness. I may lay this working brain upon the bosom that 
loves me, and not start at night and think that the soft hand 
around my neck is the hangman's gripe. Back to thyself, hence- 
forth and for ever, my busy heart ! Let not thy secret stir from 
its gloomy depth ! the seal is on the tomb ; henceforth be the spec- 
tre laid. Yes, I must smooth my brow, and teach my lip restraint, 
and smile and talk like other men. I have taken to my hearth a 
watch, tender, faithful, anxious— but a watch ! Farewell the un- 
guarded hour ! — the soul's relief in speech — the dark and broken, 
yet how grateful ! confidence with self — farewell ! And come thou 
veil ! subtle, close, unvarying, the everlasting curse of entire hy- 
pocrisy, that under thee, as night, the vexed world within may 
sleep, and stir not ! and all, in truth concealment, may seem re- 
pose ! " 

As he uttered these thoughts, the student paused and looked on 
the extended landscape that lay below. A heavy, chill, and 
comfortless mist sat saddening over the earth. Not a leaf stirred 
on the autumnal trees, but the moist damps fell slowly and with a 
mournful murmur upon the unwaving grass. The outline of the 
morning sun was visible, but it gave forth no lustre : a ring of 
watery and dark vapour girded the melancholy orb. Ear at the 
entrance of the valley the wild fern showed red and faded, and the 
first march of the deadly winter was already heralded by that 
drear and silent desolation which cradles the winds and storms. 
But amidst this cheerless scene, the distant note of the merry mar- 
riage bell floated by, like the good spirit of the wilderness, and the 

* In vain within your nuptial chamber will you shun the deadly spears, the hos- 
tile tiliout, and Ajax eager in pursuit 



J-IUGKNE AKAM. 241 

student rather paused to hearken to the note than to survey the 
scene. 

" JL/ marriage bell ! " said he ; _" could I, two short years back, 
have dreamed of this? My marriage-bell! How fondly my poor 
mother, when first she learned pride for her young scholar, would 
predict this day, and blend its festivities with the honour and the 
wealth her son was to acquire ! Alas ! can we have no science to 
i-nunt the stars and forebode the black eclipse of the future ? But 
peace! peace! peace! I am, I will, I shall be happy now ! Memory, 
1 defy thee!" 

He uttered the last words in a deep and intense tone, and turn- 
ing away as the joyful peal again broke distinctly on his ear, — 

"My marriage-bell ! Oh, Madeline ! how wondrously beloved : 
how unspeakably dear thou art to me ! What hast thou conquered ? 
hew many reasons for resolve ; how vast an army in the past has 
thy bright and tender purity overthrown ! But thou, — no never 
sh'alt thou repent!" And for several minutes the sole thought of 
the soliloquist was love. But scarce consciously to himself, a spirit 
not, to all seeming, befitted to that bridal day, — vague, restless, 
impressed with the dark and fluttering shadow of coming change, 
had taken possession of his breast, and did not long yield the 
mastery to any brighter and more serene emotion. 

" And why?" he said, as this spirit regained its empire over 
him, and he paused before the " starred tubes" of his beloved 
science — " ana why this chill, this shiver, in the midst of hope ? 
Can the mere breath of the seasons, the weight or lightness of the 
atmosphere, the outward gloom or smile of the brute mass called 
Xature, affect us thus ? Out on this empty science, this vain know- 
ledge, this little lore, if we are so fooled by the vile clay and the 
common air from our one great empire — self ! Great God ! hast 
thou made us in mercy or in disdain ? Placed in this narrow world, 
— darkness and cloud around us, — no fixed rule for men — creeds, 
morals, changing in every clime, and growing like herbs upon the 
mere soil, — we struggle to dispel the shadows ; we grope around ; 
from our own heart and our sharp and hard endurance we strike 
(jut only light, — for what ? to show us what dupes we are ! creatures 
of accident, tools of circumstance, blind instruments of the scorner 
Fate ;— the very mind, the very reason, a bound slave to the desires, 
the weakness of the clay ; affected by a cloud, dulled by the damps 
of the foul marsh ; — stricken from power to weakness, from sense 
to madness, to gaping idiocy, or delirious raving, by a putrid exhala- 
tion! — a rheum, a chill, and Ceesar trembles ! The world's gods, 
that slay or enlighten millions — poor puppets to the same rank imp 
which calls up the fungus or breeds the worm, — pah ! Howlittle worth 
is it in this life to be wise ! Strange, strange how my heart sinks. 
"Well, the better sign ! the better sign ! in danger it never sank." 

Absorbed in these reflections, Aram had not for some minutes 
noticed the sudden ceasing of the bell; but now, as he again paused 
from his irregular and abrupt pacings along the chamber, the 
sih'nce struck him, and looking forth, and striving again to catch 
tli a note, he saw a little group of men, among whom he marked the 



342 EUGENE AEA.M. 

erect and comely form of Rowland Lester, approaching towards the 
house. 

" "What!" he thought, " do they come for me? Is it so late? 
Have I played the laggard ? Nay, it yet wants near an hour to 
the time they expected me. "Well, some kindness, — some attention 
from my good father-in-law ; I must thank him for it. "What ! 
my hand trembles ; how weak are these poor nerves ; I must rest, 
and recall my mind to itself! " 

And, indeed, whether or not from the novelty and importance of 
the event he was about to celebrate, or from some presentiment, 
occasioned, as he would fain believe, by the mournful and sudden 
change in the atmosphere, an embarrassment, a wavering, a fear, 
very unwonted to the calm and stately self-possession of Eugene 
Aram, made itself painfully felt throughout his frame. He sank 
down in his chair and strove to recollect himself ; it was an effort 
in which he had just succeeded, when a loud knocking was heard 
at the outer door — it swung open — several voices were heard. 
Aram sprang up, pale, breathless, his lips apart. 

" Great God !" he exclaimed, clasping his hands. "Murderer! 
~vas that the word I heard shouted forth? — The voice, too, is 
"Walter Lester's. Has he returned ? — can he have learned; ?" 

To rush to the door, — to throw across it a long, heavy, iron bar, 
■which would resist assaults of no common strength, was his first 
impulse. Thus enabled to gain time for reflection, his active and 
alarmed mind ran over the whole field of expedient and conjecture. 
Again, " Murderer !" " Stay me not," cried "Walter from below; 
** my hand shall seize the murderer ! " 

Guess was now over ; danger and death were marching on him. 
Escape, — how ! — whither ? the height forbade the thought of flight 
from the casement ! — the door ? — he heard loud steps already 
hurrying up the stairs ; — his hands clutched convulsively at his 
breast, where his fire-arms were generally concealed, — they were 
left below. He glanced one lightning glance round the room ; no 
weapon of any kind was at hand. His brain reeled for a moment, 
his breath gasped, a mortal sickness passed over his heart, and 
then the mind triumphed over all. He drew up to his full height, 
folded his arms doggedly on his breast, and muttering, — 

" The accuser comes, — I have it still to refute the charge : "— 
he stood prepared to meet, nor despairing to evade, the worst. 

As waters close over the object which divided them, all these 
thoughts, these fears, and this resolution, had been but the work, 
the agitation, and the succeeding calm, of the moment ; that 
moment was past. 

" Admit us ! ■'' cried the voice of "Walter Lester, knocking fiercely 
at the door. 

" Not so fervently, boy," said Lester, laying his hand on his 
nephew's shoulder ;_" your tale is yet to be proved— I believe it 
)t : treat him as innocent, I pray — I command, till you have 
I own him guilty." 

"Away, imcle!" said the fiery "Walter; "he is. my father's 
; arderer. God hath given justice to my hands." These words. 



EUGENE AKAM. 24) 

uttered in a lower key than before, were but indistinctly heard by 
Aram through the massy door. 

" Open, or we force our entrance ! " shouted "Walter again ; and 
Aram, speaking for the first time, replied in a clear and sonorous 
voice, so that an angel, had one spoken, could not have more deeply 
impressedthe heart of Rowland Lester with a conviction of the 
student's innocence, — 

" Who knocks so rudely ? — what means this violence ? I open 
my doors to my friends. Is it a friend who asks it ? " 

" I ask it," said Rowland Lester, in a trembling and agitated 
voice. " There seems some dreadful mistake : come forth, Eugene, 
and rectify it by a word." 

" Is it you, Rowland Lester ? — it is enough. I was but with my 
books, and had secured myself from intrusion. Enter." 

The bar was withdrawn, the door was burst open, and even 
Walter Lester — even the officers of justice with him— drew back 
for a moment, as they beheld the lofty brow, the majestic presence, 
the features so unutterably calm, of Eugene Aram. 

" What want you, sirs ? " said he, unmoved and unfaltering, 
though in the officers of justice he recognised faces he had known 
before, and in that distant town in which all that he dreaded in 
the past lay treasured up. At the sound of his voice, the spell 
that for an instant had arrested the step of the avenging son melted 
away. 

" P him ! " he cried to the officers ; " you see your prisoner/' 

" Hold ! " cried Aram, drawing back ; " by what authority is 
this outrage ? — for what am I arrested ? " 

"Behold," said Walter, speaking through his teeth. — "behold 
our warrant ! Tou are accused of murder ! Know you the name 
of Richard Houseman? Pause — consider; or that of Daniel 
Clarke?" 

Slowly Aram lifted his eyes from the warrant, and it might be 
seen that his face was a shade more pale, though his look did not 
qu ail, or lis nerves tremble. Slowly he turned his gaze upon 
Walter, and then, after one moment's survey, dropped it once more 
on the paper. 

"The name of Houseman is not unfamiliar to me," said he 
calmly, but with effort. 

" And knew you Daniel Clarke ? " 

" WTiat mean these questions ? " said Aram, losing temper, and 
stamping violently on the ground ; " is it thus that a man, free and 
jruiltless, is to be questioned, at the behest, or rather outrage, of 
every lawless boy ? Lead me to some authority meet for me to 
answer ; — for you, boy, my answer is contempt." 

" Big words shall not save thee, murderer ! " cried Walter, 
breaking from his uncle, who in vain endeavoured to hold him ; 
and laying his powerful grasp upon Aram's shoulder. Livid was 
the glare that shot from the student's eye upon his assailer ; and 
so fearfully did his features work and change with the passions 
within him, that even Walter felt a strange shudder thrill through 
bis frame. 



344 EUGENE AEAM. 

" Gentlemen," said Aram, at last, mastering his emotions, and 
resuming some portion of the remarkable dignity that characterised 
his usual bearing, as he turned towards the officers of justice, — " I 
call upon you to discharge your duty ; if this be a rightful warrant, 
I am your prisoner, but I am not this man's. I command your 
protection from him ! " 

"Walter had already released his gripe, and said, in a muttered 
voice, — 

" My passion misled me ; violence is unworthy my solemn cause. 
God and Justice — not these hands — are my avengers." 

" Your avengers ! " said Aram ; "what dark words are these? 
This warrant accuses me of the murder of one Daniel Clarke : what 
is he to thee \ " 

" Mark me, man ! " said "Walter, fixing his eyes on Aram's coun- 
tenance. " The name of Daniel Clarke was a feigned name ; the 
real name was Geoffrey Lester : that murdered Lester was my 
father, and the brother of him whose daughter, had I not come to- 
day, you would have called your wife ! " 

Aram felt, while these words were uttered, that the eyes of all 
in the room were on him ; and perhaps that knowledge enabled him 
not to reveal by outward sign what must have passed within during 
the awful trial of that moment. 

" It is a dreadful tale," he said, " if true ; dreadful to me, so 
nearly allied to that family. But as yet I grapple with shadows." 

"What! does not your conscience now convict you?" cried 
Walter, staggered by the calmness of the prisoner. But here 
Lester, who could no longer contain himself, interposed : he put by 
his nepnew, and rushing to Aram, fell, weeping, upon his necK. 

" I do not accuse thee, Eugene — my son — my son — I feel — I know 
thou art innocent of this monstrous crime : some horrid delusion 
darkens that poor boy's sight. You — you — who would walk aside 
to save a worm ! " and the poor old man, overcome with his 
emotions, could literally say no more. 

Aram looked down on Lester with a compassionate expression, 
and soothing him with kind words, and promises that all would be 
explained, gently moved from his hold, and, anxious to terminate 
the scene, silently motioned the officers to proceed. Struck with 
the calmness and dignity of his manner, and fully impressed by it 
with the notion of his innocence, the officers treated him with a 
marked respect : they did not even walk by his side, but .suffered 
him to follow their steps. As they descended the stairs, Aram 
turned round to Walter, with a bitter and reproachful counte- 
nance, — 

" And so, young man, your malice against me has reached even 
to this ! Will nothing but my life content you ? " 

" Is the desire of execution on my father's murderer but the wish 
of malice ? " retorted Walter ; though his heart yet well-nigh mis- 
gave him as to the grounds on which his suspicion rested. 

Aram smiled, as half in scorn, half through incredulity, and, 
shaking his head gently moved on without further words. 

The three old women, who had remained in listening: astonish- 



KUGENE A IU1I. 24 

ment at the foot of the stairs, gave way as the men. descended ; but 
the one who so long had been Aram's solitary domestic, and who. 
from her deafness, was still benighted and uncomprehending as to 
the causes of his seizure, though from that very reason her alarm 
was the greater and more acute, — she — impatiently thrusting away 
the officers, and mumbling some unintelligible anathema as she did 
so — flung herself at the feet of a master, whose quiet habits and 
constant kindness had endeared him to her humble and faithful 
heart, and exclaimed, — 

" What are they doing? Have they the heart to ill-use you? 

master, God bless you ! God shield you ! I shall never see you, 
who was my only friend — who was every one's friend— any more ! " 

Aram drew himself from her, and said with a quivering lip to 
Rowland Lester, — 

" If her fears are true — if — if I never more return hither, see 
that her old age does not starve — does not want." 

Lester could not speak for sobbing, but the request was remem- 
bered. And now Aram, turning aside his proud head to conceal 
his emotion, beheld open the door of the room so trimly prepared 
for Madeline's reception ; the flowers smiled upon him from then- 
stands. " Lead on, gentlemen," he said, quickly. And so Eugene 
Aram passed his threshold ! 

" Ho, ho ! " muttered the old hag, whose predictions in the 
morning had been so ominous, — " Ho, ho ! you'll believe Goody 
Darkmans another time ! Providence respects the sayings of the 
ould. 'Twas not for nothing the rats grinned at me last night. 
But let's in and have a warm glass. He, he ! there will be all the 
strong liquors for us now ; the Lord is merciful to the poor ! " 

As the little group proceeded through the valley, the officers 
first, Aram and Lester side by side, Walter, with his hand on his 
pistol and his eye on the prisoner, a little behind — Lester endea- 
voured to cheer the prisoner's spirits and_ his own, by insisting 
on the madness of the charge, and the certainty of instant acquittal 
from the magistrate to whom they were bound, and who was 
esteemed the one both most acute and most just in the county. 
Aram interrupted him somewhat abruptly — 

"My friend, enough of this presently. But Madeline — what 
knows she as yet ? " 

" Nothing : of course, we kept " 

" Exactly — exactly : you have done wisely. Why_ need she 
learn anything as yet ? Say an arrest for debt — a mistake — an 
absence but of a day or so at most ; — you understand ? " 

" Yes. Will you not see her, Eugene, before you go, and sav 
tliis yourself ?" 

" 1 ! — God ! — I ! — to whom this day was No, no ; save me. 

1 implore you, from the agony of such a contrast — an interview so 
mournful and unavailing. No, we must not meet ! But whither 
go we now ? Not — not, surely, through all the idle gossips of the 
village — the crowd already excited to gape, and stare, and specu- 
late on the " 

" No," interrupted Lester, " the carriages await at the farther end 



216 EUGENE ABAM. 

of the valley. I thought of that — for the rash boy seems to have 
changed his nature. I loved — Heaven knows how I loved my 
brother ! — but before I would let suspicion thus blind reason, I 
would suffer inquiry to sleep for ever on his fate." 

" Your nephew," said Aram, " has ever wronged me. But waste 
not words on him : let us think only of Madeline. Will you go 
back at once to her, tell her a tale to lull her apprehensions, and 
then follow us with haste ? I am alone among enemies till you 
some." 

Lester was about to answer, whan, at a turn in the road which 
brought the carriage within view, they perceived two figures in 
white hastening towards them : and ere Aram was prepared for 
the surprise, Madeline had sunk, pale, trembling, and all breath- 
less, on his breast. 

' I could not keep her back," said Ellinor, apologetically, to her 
father. 

"Back! and why? Am I not in my proper place?" cried 
Madeline, lifting her face from Aram's breast ; ana then, as her 
eyes circled the group, and rested on Aram's countenance, now no 
longer calm, but full of woe — of passion — of disappointed love — of 
anticipated despair — she rose, and gradually recoiling with a fear 
which struck dumb her voice, thrice attempted to speak, and 
thrice failed. 

"But what — what is — what means this?" exclaimed Ellinor. 
" Why do you weep, father ? Why does Eugene turn away his 
face ? You answer not. Speak, for God's sake ! These strangers 
— what are they ? And you, Walter, you — why are you so pale ? 
Why do you thus knit your brows and fold your arms ? You — 
you will t»sll me the meaning of this dreadful silence — this scene ! 
Speak, cousin — dear cousin, speak ! " 

" Speak ! " cried Madeline, finding voice at length, but in the 
sharp and straining tone of wild terror, in which they recognised 
no note of the natural music. That single word sounded rather as 
a shriek than an adjuration ; and so piercingly it ran through the 
hearts of all present, that the very officers, hardened as their 
trade had made them, felt as if they would rather have faced 
death than answered that command. 

A dead, long, dreary pause, and Aram broke it. "Madeline 
Lester," said he, " prove yourself worthy of the hour of trial. 
Exert yourself ; arouse your heart ; be prepared ! You are the 
betrothed of one whose soul never quailed before man's angry 
word. Remember that, and fear not ! " 

" I will not — I will not, Eugene ! Speak— only speak ! " 

" You have loved me in good report ; trust me now in ill. 
They accuse me of crime — a heinous crime ! At first, I would not 
have told you the real charge ; pardon me, I wronged you : now, 
know all ! They accuse me, I say, of crime. Of what crime ? you 
ask. Ay, I scarce know, so vague is the charge — so fierce the 
accuser : but prepare, Madeline — it is of murder ! " 

Raised as her spirits had been by the haughty and earnest tone 
of Aram's exhortation, Madeline now, though she turned deadly 



EUGENE AJ1AM. 24/ 

pale — though the earth swam round and round — yet repressed tha 
shriek upon her lips, as those horrid words shot into her soul. 

" You ! — murder ! — you ! And who dares accuse you ? " 

" Behold him — your cousin ! " 

Ellinor heard, turned, fixed her eyes on "Walter's sullen brow 
and motionless attitude, and fell senseless to the earth. Not thus 
Madeline. As there is an exhaustion that forbids, not invites 
repose, so, when the mind is thoroughly on the rack, the common 
relief to anguish is not allowed ; the senses are too sharply strung, 
thus happily to collapse into forgetfulness ; the dreadful inspira- 
tion that agony kindles, supports nature while it consumes it. 
^Madeline passed, without a downward glance, by the lifeless body 
of her sister ; and walking with a steady step to Walter, she laid 
her hand upon his arm, and fixing on his countenance that soft, 
clear eye, which was now lit with a searching and preternatural 
glare, and seemed to pierce into his soul, she said — 

"Walter! do I hear aright? Am I awake? — Is it you wh« 
accuse Eugene Aram? — your Madeline's betrothed husband, — 
Madeline, whom you once loved? — Of what? — of crimes which 
death alone can punish. Away ! — it is not you — I know it is not. 
Say that I am mistaken — that I am mad, if you will. Come 
Walter, relieve me : let me not abhor the very air you breathe ! " 

"Will no one have mercy on me?" cried Walter, rent to th< 
h'jart, and covering his face with his hands. In the fire an( 
heat of vengeance, he had not recked of this. He had only 
thought of justice to a father — punishment to a villain- rescue 
for a credulous girl. The woe — the horror he was about to inflict 
on all he most loved ; this had not struck upon him with a dua 
force till now ! 

" Mercy — you talk of mercy ! I knew it could not be true ! " 
said Madeline, trying to pluck her cousin's hand from his face : 
"you could not have dreamed of wrong to Eugene — and — and 
upon this day. Say we have erred, or that yor. ha,ye erred, and 
we will forgive and bless you even now r " 

Aram had not interfered in this soene. He kev f ''is eyes fixed 
on the cousins, not uninterested to see what elfeot Madeline's 
touching words might produce on his accuser : meanwhile, she 
continued — " Speak to me, Walter — dear Walter, speak to me ! 
Are you, my cousin, my playfellow — are you the one to blight our 
hopes — to dash our ioys — to bring dread and terror into a home so 
lately all peace and sunshine — your own home — your childhood's 
home ? What have you done ? what have you dared to do ? Ac- 
cuse him ! — of what ? Murder ! speak, speak. Murder, ha ! ha ! 
— murder ! nay, not so ! — you would not venture to come here 
— you would not let me take your hand — you would not look us, 
your uncle, your more than sisters, in the face, if you could nurse 
in your heart this lie — this black, horrid lie ! " 

Walter withdrew his hands — and, as he turned his face, — 
said — 

" Let him prove his innocence— pray God he do ! — I am not hia 
accuser. Madeline. His accusers Rre the honos of n;y dead father It 



248 EUGENE AEAM. 

— Save these, Heaven alone, and the revealing earth , are witness 
against him ! " 

" Your father !" said Madeline, staggering back — " my lest 
uncle ! Nay, — now I know, indeed, what a shadow has appalled 
us all ! Did you know my uncle, Eugene ? — Did you ever see 
Geoffrey Lester ? " 

"Never, as I believe, so help me God !" said Aram, laying his 
hand on his heart. " But this is idle now," as, recollecting him- 
self, he felt that the case had gone forth from Walter's hands, and 
that appeal to him had become vain. 

" Leave us now, dearest Madeline ; my beloved wife that shall 
be, that is ! — I go to disprove these charges — perhaps I shall return 
to-night. Delay not my acquittal, even from doubt — a boy's 
doubt. Come, sirs." 

" Eugene ! Eugene ! " cried Madeline, throwing herself on her 
knees before him — " do not order me to leave you now — now, in 
the hour of dread — I will not. Nay, look not so ! I swear I will 
not ! Father, dear father, came, and plead for me — say I shall go 
with you. I ask nothing more. Do not fear for my nerves — cow- 
ardice is gone. I will not shame you, — I will not play the woman. 
I know what is due to one who loves him— try me, only try me. 
Tou weep, father, you shake your head. But you, Eugene — you 
have not the heart to deny me. Think — think, if I stayed here to 
count the moments till you return, my very senses would leave me. 
What do I ask ? — but to go with you, to be the first to hail your 
triumph ! Had this happened two hours hence, you could not 
have said me nay — I should have claimed the right to be with 
you ; I now but implore the blessing. — You relent — you relent — I 
see it ! " 

" Heaven ! " exclaimed Aram, rising, and clasping her to his 
breast, and wildly kissing her face, but with cold and trembling lips, 
— " this is, indeed, a bitter hour ; let me not sink beneath it. Yes, 
Madeline, ask your father if he consents ; — I hail your strength- 
ening presence as that of an angel. I will not be the one to sever 
you from my side." 

"You are right, Eugene," said Lester, who was supporting 
Ellinoj, not yet recovered, — " let her go with us ; it is but common 
kindness, and common mercy." 

Madeline uttered a cry of joy (joy even at such a moment !), and 
clung fast to Eugene's arm, as if for assurance that they were not 
indeed to be separated. 

By this time some of Lester's servants, who had from a distance 
followed their young mistresses, reached the spot. To their care 
Lester gave the still scarce reviving Ellinor; and then, turning 
round with a severe countenance to Walter, said, " Come, sir, 
your rashness has done sufficient wrong for the present : come now, 
and see how soon your suspicions will end in shame." 

" Justice, and blood for blood ! " said Walter, sternly ; but his 
heart felt as if it were broken. His venerable uncle s tears- 
Madeline's look of horror, as she turned from him — Ellinor, aU 
lifeless, and hi not daring to approach her — this was Aw work ! 



I5TJUENE AUAM. 249 

He polled his hat over his eyes, and hastened into the carnage 
alone. Lester, Madeline, and Aram, followed in the other vehicle ; 
and the two officers contented themselves with mounting the box, 
certain that the prisoner would attempt no cscapo. 



CHAPTER III. 

t SS JTSTICE. — T3E DEPARTURE— TI1K EQUANIMITY OF THE CO It- 
POEAL IX BEARING THE MISFORTUNES OF OTHER PEOPLE.— TJIK 
EXAMINATION; ITS RESULT.— ARAM'S CONDUCT IN PRISON.— TUG 
ELASTICITY OF OUR HUMAN NATURE. — A VISIT FROM THE EARL. 
—WALTER'S DETERMINATION.— MADELINE. 



Bear me to prison, where I am committed. — Measure for Measure. 

On arriving at Sir 's, a disappointment, for which, had they 

previously conversed with the officers, they might have been pre- 
pared, awaited them. The fact was, that the justice had only 
endorsed the warrant sent from Yorkshire ; and after a very short 
colloquy, in which he expressed his regret at the circumstance, his 
conviction that the charge would be disproved, and a few other- 
courteous commonplaces, he gave Aram to understand that the 
matter now did not rest with him, but that it was to Yorkshire that 
the officers were bound, and before Mr. Thornton, a magistrate of 
that county, that the examination was to take place. "All I can do," 
said the magistrate, " I have already done ; but I wished for an 
opportunity of informing you of it. I have written to my brother- 
justice at full length respecting your high character, and treating— 
the habits and rectitude of your life alone as a sufficient refutation 
of so monstrous a charge." 

For the first time a visi ble embarrassment came over the firm 
nerves of the prisoner : he seemed to look with great uneasiness at 
the prospect of this long and dreary journey, and for such an end. 
Perhaps, the vrry notion of returning as a suspected criminal to 
that part of the country where a portion of his youth had been 
passed, was sufficient to disquiet and deject him. All this while 
nis poor Madeline seemed actuated by a spirit beyond herself ; she 
would not be separated from his side — she held his hand in hers — 
she whispered comfort and courage at the very moment when her 
own heart most sank. The magistrate wiped his eyes when he saw a 
creature so young, so beautiful, in circumstances so fearful, and 
bearing up with an energy so little to be expected from her_ years 
and delicate appearance. Aram said but little ; he covered his face 
with his right nand for a few moments, as if to hide a passing 
emotion, a sudden weakness. When he removed it, all vestige of 
colour had died away ; his face was pale as that of one who had 
risen from the grave ; but it was settled and oomposed. 

" It is a hard pang, sir," said he, with a faint smile ; "so many 



250 EUGENE AKAJil. 

miles — so many days — so long a deferment of knowing the best, or 
preparing to meet the worst. But, be it so ! I thank you, sir, 
— -I thank you all — Lester, Madeline, for your kindness ; you two 
must now leave me : the brand is on my name — the suspected man 
is no fit object for love or friendship. Farewell ! " 

" We go with you ! " said Madeline, firmly, and in a very low 
voice. 

Aram's eye sparkled, but he waved his hand impatiently. 

" We go with you, my friend ! " repeated Lester. 

And so, indeed, not to dwell long on a painful scene, it was 
finally settled. Lester and his two daughters that evening 
followed Aram to the dark and fatal bourne to which he was 
bound. 

It was in vain that "Walter, seizing his uncle 's hands, whis- 
pered, — 

" For Heaven's sake, do not be rash in your friendship ! You 
have not yet learned all. I tell you, that there can be no doubt of 
his guilt ! Remember, it is a brother for whom you mourn ! will 
you countenance his murderer ? " 

Lester, despite himself , was struck by the earnestness with which 
his nephew spoke, but the impression died away as the words 
ceased : so strong and deep had been the fascination which Eugene 
Aram had exercised over the hearts of all once drawn within the 
near circle of his attraction, that had the charge of murder been 
made against himself, Lester could not have repelled it with a more 
entire conviction of the innocence of the accused. Still, however, 
the deep sincerity of his nephew's manner in some measure served 
to soften his resentment towards him. 

" No, no, boy ! " said he, drawing away his hand ; " Rowland 
Lester is not the one to desert a friend in the day of darkness and 
the hour of need. Be silent, I say ! — My brother, my poor bro- 
ther, you tell me, has been murdered. I will see justice done to 
him : but, Aram ! Fie ! fie ! it is a name that would whisper 
falsehood to the loudest accusation. Go, Walter ! go ! I do not 
blame you ! — you may be right — a murdered father is a dread and 
awful memory to a son ! What wonder that the thought warps 
vour judgment? But go ! Eugene was to me both a guide and a 
blessing ; a father in wisdom, a son in love. I cannot look on his 
accuser's face without anguish. Go ! we shall meet again.— 
How! Go!" 

" Enough, sir ! " said Walter, partly in anger, partly in sor- 
row ; — " Time be the judge between us all ! " 

With those words he turned from the house, and proceeded on 
foot towards a cottage half-way between Grassdale and the magis- 
trate's house, at which, previous to his return to the former place, 
he had prudently left the corporal — not willing to trust to that 
person's discretion, as to the tales and scandal that he might 
propagate throughout the village, on a matter so painful and 
so dark- 
Let the world wag as it will, there are some tempers which its 
vicissitudes never reach. Nothing nuikos a picture of distress 



KUu.-.XE ARAM. 251 

more s-a.l than the portrait of some individual sitting indifferently 
looking on in the background. This was a secret Hogarth knew 
well. Mark hi* death- bed scenes: — Poverty and Vice worked up 
into horror — and the physicians in the corner wrangling for the 
fee ! — or the child playing with the coffin — or the nurse iilching 
what fortune, harsh, yet less harsh than humanity, might have 
left. In the melancholy depth of humour that steeps both our 
fancy and our heart in the immortal romance of Cervantes (for, 
how profoundly melancholy is it to be compelled by one gallant 
folly to laugh at all that is gentle, and brave, and wise, and 
generous !) nothing grates on us more than when — last scene of 
all — the poor knight lies dead, — his exploits for ever over — for 
ever dumb his eloquent discourses : that when, I say, we are told 
that, despite of his grief, even little Sancho did not eat or drink 
the less : — these touches open so us the real world, it is true ; but 
it is not the best part of it. Certain it was, that when Walter, 
full of contending emotions at all he had witnessed, — harassed, 
tortured, yet also elevated, by his feelings — stopped opposite the 
cottage door, and saw there the corporal sitting comfortably in the 
porch, — his vile modicum Sabini before him — his pipe in his 
mouth — and a complacent expression of satisfaction diffusing itself 
over features which shrewdness and selfishness had marked for 
their own ; — certain it Was, that, at this sight, Walter experienced 
a more displeasing revulsion of feeling — a more entire conviction 
of sadness — a more consummate disgust of this weary world and 
the motley masquers that walk therein, than all the tragic scenes 
he had iust witnessed had produced within him. 

"And well, sir," said the corporal, slowly rising, "how did it 
go off ? — wasn't the -villain bash'd to the dust — you've nabbed him 
safe, I hope ? " 

" Silence ! " said Walter, sternly ; " prepare for our departure. 
The chaise will be here forthwith ; we return to Yorkshire this 
day. Ask me no more now." 

" A — well — baugh ! " said the corporal. 

There was a long silence. Walter walked to and fro the road 
before the cottage. The chaise arrived ; the luggage was put in. 
Walter's foot was on the step : but before the corporal mounted 
the rumbling dickey, that invaluable domestic hemmed thrice. 

"And had you time, sir, to think of poor Jacob, and slip in a 
word to your uncle about the bit tato-ground ?" 

We pass over the space of time, short in fact, long in suffering. 
that 'lapsed, till the prisoner and his companions reached Knares- 
borou'.'h. Aram's conduct during this time was notonlycalm, but 
cboeriul. The stoical doctrines he had affected through life, he on 
*his trying interval called into remarkable exertion. He it was 
who now supported the spirits of his mistress and his riend ; and 
though r - *-o longer pretended to be sanguine of acquittal — though 
again and -ain he urged upon them the gloomy fact — first, how 
improbable it was that this course had been entered into against 
him without strong presumption of guilt; and secondly, how little 
less improbable it war, that at that distance of time he should be 



"M2 EUGE-NU AILUtt. 

able to procure evidence, or remember circumstances, sufficient on 
the instant to set aside such presumption, — he yet dwelt partly on 
the hope of ultimate proof of his innocence, and still more strongly 
on the firmness of his own mind to bear, without shrinking, eveii 
the hardest fate. 

" Do not," he said to Lester, " do not look on these trials of life 
only with the eyes of the world. Reflect how poor and minute a 
segment, in the vast circle of eternity, existence is at the best. Its 
sorrow and its shame are but moments. Always in my brightest 
and youngest hours I have wrapped nay heart in the contemplation 
of an august futurity : — 

' The soul, secure in its existence, smiles 
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.' 

Were it not for Madeline's dear sake, I should long since have 
been over-weary of the world. As it is, the sooner, even by a 
violent and unjust fate, we leave a path begirt with snares below 
and tempests above, the happier for that soul which looks to its 
lot in this earth as the least part of its appointed doom." 

In discourses like this, which the nature of his eloquence was 
peculiarly calculated to render solemn and impressive, Aram strove 
to prepare his friends for the worst, and perhaps to cheat, or to 
steel, himself. Ever as he spoke thus, Lester or Ellinor broke 
on him with impatient remonstrance ; but Madeline, as if imbued 
with a deeper and more mournful penetration into the future, 
listened in tearless and breathless attention. She gazed upon him 
with a look that shared the thought he expressed, though it read 
not (yet she dreamed so) the heart from which it came. In the 
■words of that beautiful poet, to whose true nature, so full of unut- 
tered tenderness — so fraught with the rich nobility of love— we 
have begun slowly to awaken — 

" Her lip was silent, scarcely beat her heart, 
Her eye alone proclaimed, ' We will not i •art ! ' 
Thy ' hope 1 may perish, or thy friends muy ilee. 
Farewell to life — but not adieu to thee ! " * 

They arrived at noon at the house of Mr. Thornton, and Aram 
underwent his examination. Though he denied most of the par- 
ticulars in Houseman's evidence, and expressly the charge of 
murder, his commitment was made out; and that day he waa 
removed by the officers (Barker and Moor, who had arrested him 
at Grassdale), to York Castle, to await his trial at the assizes. 

The sensation which this extraordinary event created throughout 
the county was wholly unequalled. Not only in Yorkshire, ami 
the county in which he had of late resided, where his personal 
habits were known, but even in the metropolis, and amongst m«i 
of all classes in England, it appears to have caused one mingled 
feeling of astonishment, horror, and incredulity, which in our 
•times has had no parallel in any criminal prosecution. Tha 

* "Lara." 



KL'UKNK ARAM. 2H\> 

peculiar attributes of the prisoner- -his genius — his learning — his 
moral life — the interest that by students had been for years 
attached to his name — his approaching marriage — the length of 
time that had elapsed since the crime had been committed — th& 
.-insular and abrupt manner, the wild and legendary spot, in 
which the skeleton of the lost man had been discovered — the im- 
perfect rumours — the dark and suspicious evidence, — all combined 
to make a tale of such marvellous incident, and breeding such 
endless conjecture, that we cannot wonder to find it afterwards 
received a place, not only in the temporary chronicles, but even in 
the permanent histories of the period. 

Previous to Walter's departure from Knaresborough to Grassdale, 
and immediately subsequent to the discovery at St. Robert's Cave, 
the coroner's inquest had been held upon the bones so mysteriously 
and suddenly brought to light. Upon the witness of the old 
woman at whose house Aram had lodged, and upon that of 
Houseman, aided by some circumstantial and less weighty evi- 
dence, had been issued that warrant on whieh we have seen the 
prisoner apprehended. 

With most men there was an intimate and indignant persuasion 
of Aram's innocence ; and at this day, in the county where he last 
resided, there still lingers the same belief. Firm as his Gospel 
faith, that conviction rested in the mind of the worthy Lester ; and 
he sought, by every means he could devise, to soothe and cheer the 
(.onfinement of his friend. In prison, however (indeed after his 
examination — after Aram had made himself thoroughly acquainted 
vd\h all the circumstantial evidence which identified Clarke witii 
Geoffrey Lester, — a story that till then he had persuaded himself 
wholly to disbelieve), a change which, in the presence of Madeline 
or her father, he vainly attempted wholly to conceal, and to which, 
■u'hen alone, he surrendered himself with a gloomy abstraction — 
came over his mood, and dashed him from the lofty height of 
philosophv from which he had before looked down on the peril and 
the ills below. 

Sometimes he would gaze on Lester with a strange and glassy 
eye, and mutter inaudibly to himself, as if unaware of the old 
man's presence ; at others, he would shrink from Lester's proffered 
hand, and start abruptly from his professions of unaltered, un- 
alterable regard ; sometimes he would sit silently, and, with a 
changeless and stoney countenance, look upon Madeline as she now 
spoke in that exalted tone of consolation which had passed away 
from himself; and when she had done, instead of replying to her 
speech, he would say abruptly, — " Ay, at the worst you love me, 
then — love me better than any one on earth — say that, Madeline, 
again say that ! " 

And Madeline's trembling lips obeyed the demand. 

" Yes," he would renew, " this man, whom they accuse me of 
murdering, this, — your uncle, — him you never saw since you were 
an infant, a mere infant : Aim you could not love ! What was he 
to ycu ?— yet it is dreadful to think of— dreadful, dreadful ! " and 
then again his voic" ceased ; but his lips moved convulsively, and 



2.34 EUGEJS'E AKASl. 

his eyes seemed to speak meanings that defied words. These 
alterations in his bearing, which belied his steady and resolute 
character, astonished and dejected both Madeline and her father. 
Sometimes they thought that his situation had shaken his reason, 
or that the horrible suspicion of having murdered the uncle of his 
intended wife made him look upon themselves with a secret 
shudder, and that they were mingled up in his mind by no unna- 
tural, though unjust confusion, with the causes of his present 
awful and uncertain state. With the generality of the world, 
these two tender friends believed Houseman the sole and real 
murderer, and fancied his charge against Aram was but the last 
expedient of a villain to ward punishment from himself, by im- 
puting crime to another. Naturally then, they frequently sought 
to turn the conversation upon Houseman, and on the different 
circumstances that had brought him acquainted with Aram : but 
on this ground the prisoner seemed morbidly sensitive, and averse 
to detailed discussion. His narration, however, such as it was, 
threw much light upon certain matters on which Madeline and 
Lester were before anxious and inquisitive. 

" Houseman is, in all ways," said he, with great and bitter 
vehemence, " unredeemed, and beyond the calculations of an 
ordinary wickedness ; we knew each other from our relationship, 
but seldom met, and still more rarely held long intercourse 
together. After we separated, when I left Knaresborough, we did not 
meet for years. He sought me at Grassdale ; he was poor, and 
implored assistance ; I gave him all within my power ; he sought 
me again, nay, more than once again, and finding me justly averse 
to yielding to his extortionate demands, he then broached the 
purpose he has now effected ; he threatened — you hear me — you 
understand — he threatened me with this charge — the murder of 
Daniel Clarke ; by that name alone I knew the deceased. The 
menace, and the known villany of the man, agitated me beyond 
expression. What was I ? — a being who lived without the world — 
who knew not its ways — who desired only rest ! The menace 
haunted me — almost maddened ! Your nephew has told you, you 
say, of broken words, of escaping emotions, which he has noted, 
even to suspicion, in me ; you now behold the cause ! Was it 
not sufficient? My life, nay more, my fame, my marriage, 
Madeline's peace f mind, all depended on the uncertain fury 
or craft of a wretch like this ! The idea was with me night 
and day : to avoid it I resolved on a sacrifice ; you may blame me, 
I was weak, yet I thought then not unwise ; to avoid it, I say, I 
offered to bribe this man to leave the country. I sold my pittance 
to oblige him to it. I bound him thereto by the strongest ties. 
Nay, so disinterestedly, so truly did I love Madeline, that I would 
not wed while I thought this danger could burst upon me. I be- 
lieved that, before my marriage day, Houseman had left the coun- 
try. It was not so : Fate ordered otherwise. It seems that House- 
man came to Knaresborough to see his daughter ; that suspicion, by 
a sudden train of events, fell on him — perhaps justly ; to screen him- 
self he has sacrificed me. The tale seems plausible ; perhaps the 



Kli.l.N K AlLiM. 215 

accuser may triumph. But, Madeline, you now may account i"r 
much that may have perplexed you before. Let me remember — 
ay — ay — I have dropped mysterious words — have I not? — have 
1 not ? — owning that danger was around me — owning that a wild 
and terrific secret was heavy at my breast ; nay, once, walking 
with you the evening before — before the fatal day, I said that we 
must prepare to seek some yet more secluded spot, some deeper 
retirement; for despite my precautions, despite the supposed ab- 
sence of Houseman from the country itself, a fevered and restless 
presentiment would at sometimes intrude itself on mo. All this 
is now accounted for, is it not, Madeline f Speak, speak ! " 

" All, love, all ! Why do you look on me with that searching 
eve, that frowning brow ? " 
' " Did I ? No, no, I have no frown for you ; but peace, I am not 
what I ought to be through this ordeal." 

The above narration of Aram's did indeed account to Madeline 
for much that had till then remained unexplained ; the appearance 
ot Houseman atGrassdale, — the meeting between him and Aram on 
the evening she walked with the latter, and questioned him of his 
ill-boding visitor ; the frequent abstraction and muttered hints of 
her lover; and, as he had said, his last declaration of the possible 
necessity of leaving Grassdale. Nor was it improbable, though it 
was rather in accordance with the unworldly habits, than with the 
haughty character of Aram, that he should seek, circumstanced as 
he was, to silence even the false accuser of a plausible tale, that 
might well strike horror and bewilderment into a man much more, 
to all seeming, fitted to grapple with the hard and coarse realities 
of life, than the moody and secluded scholar. Be that as it may, 
though Lester deplored, he did not blame that circumstance, which 
after all had not transpired, nor seemed likely to transpire ; nnd 
he attributed the prisoner's aversion to enter farther on the matter 
to the natural dislike of so proud a man to refer to his own weak- 
ness ; and to dwell upon the manner in which, in spite of that 
weakness, he had been duped. This story Lester retailed to 
"Walter, and it contributed to throw a damp and uncertainty over 
those mixed and unquiet feelings with which the latter waited for 
the coming trial. There were many moments when the young man 
was tempted to regret that Aram had not escaped a trial which, if 
he were proved guilty, would for ever blast the happiness of his 
f&mily ; and which might, notwithstanding such a verdict, leave 
on Walter's own mind an impression of the prisoner's innocence ; 
and an uneasy consciousness that he, through his investigations, 
had brought him to that doom. 

Walter remained in Yorkshire, seeing little of his family, — of 
none indeed but Lester ; it was not to be expected that Madeline 
would see him, and once only he caught the tearful eyes of Ellinor 
a3 she retreated from the room he entered, and those eyes beamed 
kindness and pitv, but something also of reproach. 

Time passed slowly and witheringly on : a man of the name of 
Terry having been included in the suspicion, and indeed com- 
mitted, it appeared that the prosecutor could not procure witnesses 



2i>6 EUGENE ARAM. 

by the customary time, and the trial was postponed till the next 
assizes. As this man was, however, never brought up to trial, and 
appears no more, we have said nothing of him in our narrative, 
until he thus became the instrument of a delay in the fate of 
Eugene Aram. Time passed on — winter, spring, were gone, and 
the glory and gloss of summer were now lavished over the happy 
earth. In some measure the usual calmness of his demeanour had 
returned to Aram ; he had mastered those moody fits we have 
referred to, which had so afflicted his affectionate visitors ; and he 
now seemed to prepare and buoy himself up against that awful 
ordeal of life and death which he was about soon to pass. Yet he 
—the hermit of Nature, who — 

Each little herb 
That grows on mountain bleak, or tangled forest. 
Hail learned to name;"* — 

he could not feel, even through the bars and checks of a prison, 
the soft summer air, " the witchery of the soft blue sky ;" he could 
not see the leaves bud forth, and mellow into their darker verdure; 
he could not hear the songs of the many- voiced birds, or listen to 
the dancing rain, calling up beauty where it fell ; or mark at 
night, through his high and narrow casement, the stars aloof, and 
the sweet moon pouring in he.T light, like God's pardon, even 
through the dungeon-gloom and the desolate scenes where Mor- 
tality struggles with Despair ; he could not catch, obstructed as 
they were, these, the benigner influences of earth, and not sicken 
and pant for his old and full communion with their ministry and 
presence. Sometimes all around him was forgotten, — the harsh 
cell, the cheerless solitude, the approaching trial, the boding fear, 
the darkened hope, even the spectre of a troubled and fierce remem- 
brance, — all was forgotten, and his spirit was abroad, and his step 
upon the mountain top once more. 

In our estimate of the ills of life we never sufficiently take into 
our consideration the wonderful elasticity of our moral frame, the 
unlooked-for, the startling facility with which the human mind 
accommodates itself to all change of circumstance, making an 
object and even a joy from the hardest and seemingly the least 
redeemed conditions of fate. The man who watched the spider in 
his cell may have taken, at least, as much interest in the watch, as 
when engaged in the most ardent and ambitious objects of bis 
former life. Let any man look over his past career, let him recall 
not moments, not hours of agony, for to them Custom lends not her 
blessed magic ; but let him single out some lengthened period 
of physical or moral endurance : in hastily reverting to it, it may 
seem at first, I grant, altogether wretched ; a series of days marked 
with the black stone— the clouds without a star : but let him look 
more closely, it was not so during the time of suffering ; a thou- 
sand little thir.gs, in the bustle of life dormant and unheeded, then 
started forth into notice, and became to him objects of interest or 

« "Remorse," by S. T. Coleriore 



EUGENE AKAM. 257 

diversion; the dreary present, once made familiar, glided away 
from him, not less than if it had been all happiness ; his mind 
dwelt not on the dull intervals, but the stepping-stone it had 
created and placed at each ; and, by that moral dreaming whioh 
for ever goes on within man's secret heart, he lived as little in the 
immediate worid before him, as in the most sanguine period of his 
youth, or the most scheming of his maturity. 

So wonderful in equalising all states and all times in the varying 
tide of life are these two rulers yet levellers of mankind, Hope and 
Custom, that the very idea of an eternal punishment includes that 
of an utter alteration of the whole mechanism of the soul in its 
human state ; and no effort of an imagination, assisted by past 
experience, can conceive a state of torture which Custom can never 
blunt, and from which the chainless and immaterial spirit can 
never be beguiled into even a momentary escape. 

Among the very few persons admitted to Aram's solitude was 

Lord . That nobleman was staving, on a visit, with a relation 

of his in the neighbourhood, and he seized, with an excited and 
mournful avidity, the opportunity thus afforded him of seeing once 
more a character that had so often forced itself on his speculation 
and surprise. He came to offer, not condolence, but respect ; 
services, at such a moment, no individual could render : — he gave, 
however, what was within his power — advice, — and pointed out to 
Aram the best counsel to engage, and the best method of previous 
inquiry into particulars yet unexplored. He was astonished to 
. find Aram indifferent on these points, so important. The prisoner, 
it would seem, had even then resolved on being his own counsel, 
and conducting his own cause ; the event proved that he did not 
rely in vain on the power of his own eloquence and sagacity, though 
he might on their result. As to the rest, he spoke with impatience, 
and the petulance of a wronged man. " For the idle rumours of 
the world, I do not care," said he ; "let them condemn or acquit 
me as they will : for my life, I might be willing, indeed, that it 
were spared, — I trust it may be ; if not, I can stand face to face 
with Death. I have now looked on him within these walls long 
enough to have grown familiar with his terrors. But enough of me. 
Tell me, my lord, something of the world without : I have grown 
eager about it at last. I have been now so condemned to feed upon 
myself, that I have become surfeited with the diet ;" and it was 
with great difficulty that the earl drew Aram back to speak of 
himself: he did so, even when compelled to it, with so much 
qualification and reserve, mixed with some evident anger at the 
thought <)( bein? sifted and examined, that his visitor was forced 
finally to drop the subject ; and not liking, indeed not able, at such 
a time, to converse on more indifferent themes, the last interview 
he ever had with Aram terminated much more abruptly than ha 
had meant it. His opinion of the prisoner was not, however, 
shaken in the least. 1 have seen a letter of his to a celebrated 
personage of the day, in which, mentioning this interview, he con- 
cludes with saying: — "In short, there is so much real dignity 
about the man, that adverse circumstances increase it tenfold. 01 



£58 EUGENE AEAil. 

Ms innocence I have not the remotest doubt ; but if he persist in 
being his own counsel, I tremble for the result : you know, in such 
cases, how much more valuable is practice than genius. But the 
judge, you will say, is, in criminal causes, the prisoner's counsel ; 
God grant he may prove a successful one ! I repeat, were Aram 
condemned by five hundred juries, I could not believe him guilty. 
No, the very essence of all human probabilities is against it." 

The earl afterwards saw and conversed with Walter. He was 
much struck with the conduct of the young Lester, and much 
impressed with compassion for a situation so harassing and un- 
happy. 

" Whatever be the result of the trial," said Walter, " I shall 
leave the country the moment it is finally over. If the prisoner be 
condemned, there is no hearth for me in my uncle's home : if 
not, my suspicions may still remain, and the sight of each other be 
an equal bane to the accused and to myself. A voluntary exile, 
and a life that may lead to forgetfulness, are all that I covet. I 
now find in my own person," he added, with a faint smile, "how 
deeply Shakspeare had read the mysteries of men's conduct. Ham- 
let, we are told, was naturally full of fire and action. One dark 
discovery quells his spirit, imstrings his heart, and stales to him 
for ever the uses of the world. I now comprehend the change. It 
is bodied forth even in the humblest individual, who is met by a 
similar fate — even in myself." 

" Ay," said the earl, " I do indeed remember you a wild, im- 
petuous, headstrong youth. I scarcely recognise your very appear- 
ance. The elastic spring has left your step — there seems a fixed 
furrow in your brow. These clouds of life are indeed no summer 
vapour, darkening one moment and gone the next. But, my young 
friend, let us hope the best. I firmly believe in Aram's innocence 
— firmly ! — more rootedly than I can express. The real criminal 
will appear on the trial. All bitterness between you and Aram 
must cease at his acquittal : you will be anxious to repair to him 
the injustice of a natural suspicion : and he seems not one who 
could long retain malice. All will be well, believe me," 

" God grant it ! " said Walter, sighing deeply. 

" But at the worst," continued the earl, pressing his hand in 
parting, "if you should persist in your resolution to leave the 
country, write to me, and I can furnish you with an honourable 
and stirring occasion for doing so. Farewell ! " 

While time was thus advancing towards the fatal day, it was 

graving deep ravages within the pure breast of Madeline Lester. 

She had borne up, as we have seen, for some time, against the 

sudden blow that had shivered her young hopes, and separated 

her by so awful a chasm from the side of Aram ; but as week after 

week, month after month rolled on, and he still lay in prison, and 

the 1 horrible suspense of ignominy and death still hung oyer her, 

hen gradually her courage began to fail and her heart to s i nk. Of 

Uthe conditions to which the heart is subject, suspense is the one 

hat most gnaws, and cankers into, the frame. One little month of 

lat suspense, when it involves death, we are told, in a very 



ETJOENE AEAM. 269 

remarkable work lately published by an eyewitness,* is sufficient 
to plough fixed lines and furrows in the face of a convict of five- 
and-twenty — sufficient to dash the brown hair with grey, and to 
bleach the gTey to white. And this suspense — suspense of this 
nature — for more than eight whole months, had Madeline to endure ! 

About the end of the second month, the effect upon her health 
grew visible. Her colour, naturally delicate as the hues of the pink 
shell or the youngest rose, faded into one marble whiteness, which 
again, as tine prooeeded, flushed into that red and preternatural 
hectic, which, once settled, rarely yields its place but to the colours 
of the grave. Her form shrank from its rounded and noble pro- 
portions. Deep hollows traced themselves beneath eyes whichyet 
grew even more lovely as they grew less serenely bright. The 
blessed sleep sunk not upon her brain with its wonted and healing 
dews. Perturbed dreams, that towards dawn succeeded the long 
and weary vigil of the night, shook her frame even more than the 
anguish of the day. In these dreams one frightful vision — a crowd 
— a scaffold — and the pale majestic face of her lover, darkened by 
unutterable pangs of pride and sorrow, were for ever present before 
her. Till now she and Ellinor had always shared the same bed : 
this Madeline would no longer suffer. In vain Ellinor wept and 
pleaded. " No," said Madeline, with a hollow voice : " at night I 
see him. My soul is alone with his ; but — but," — and she burst 
into an agony of tears — " the most dreadful thought is this, — I 
cannot master my dreams. And sometimes I start and wake, and 
find that in sleep I have believed him guilty. Nay, God ! 
that his lips have proclaimed the guilt ! And shall any living 
beings-shall any but God, who reads not words but hearts, hear 
this hideous falsehood — this ghastly mockery of the lying sleep ? 
No, I must be alone ! The very stars should not hear what is 
forced from me in the madness of my dreams." 

But not in vain, or not excluded from her, was that elastic 
and consoling spirit of which I have before spoken. As Aram 
recovered the tenor of his self-possession, a more quiet and peaceful 
calm diffused itself over the mind of Madeline. Her high and 
starry nature could comprehend those sublime inspirations of com- 
fort, which lift us from the lowest abyss of this world, to the 
contemplation of all that the yearning visions of mankind have 
painted in another. She would sit, rapt and absorbed for hours 
tog-ether, till these contemplations assumed the colour of a gentle 
and soft insanity. "Come, dearest Madeline," Ellinor would say, 
— " come, you have thought enough ; my poor father asks to see 
you." 

"Hush !" Madeline answered. "Hush, I have been walking 
with Eugene in heaven : and oh ! there are green woods, and 
lulling waters above, as there are on earth, and we see the stars 
quite near, and I cannot tell you how happy their smile makes 
those who look upon them. And Eugene never starts there, nt 
frown?, nor walks aside, nor looks on me with an estranged ar, 

• See Mr. Wakefield's work, " On tlie Punishment of Death." 
8 2 



260 EUGENE AKAM. 

chilling look ; but his face is as calm and bright as the face of an 
angel : — and his voice ! — it thrills amidst all the music which plays 
there night and day — softer than their softest note. And we are 
married, Ellinor, at last. We were married in heaven, and all the 
angels came to the marriage ! I am now so happy that we were 
not wed before ! What ! are you weeping, Ellinor ? Ah, we never 
weep in heaven ! but we will all go there again — all of us, hand in 
hand!" 

These affecting hallucinations terrified them, lest they should 
settle into a confirmed loss of reason ; but perhaps without cause. 
They never lasted long, and never occurred but after moods of 
abstraction of unusual duration. To her they probably supplied 
what sleep does to others — a relaxation and refreshment — an escape 
from the consciousness of life. And, indeed, it might always be 
noted, that after such harmless aberrations of the mind, Madeline 
seemed more collected and patient in thought, and for the moment, 
even stronger in frame than before. Yet the body evidently pined 
and languished, and each week made palpable decay in her vital 
powers. 

Every time Aram saw her, he was startled at the alteration ; and 
kissing her cheek, her lips, her temples, in an agony of grief, 
wondered that to him alone it was forbidden to weep. Yet after 
all, when she was gone, and he again alone, he could not but think 
death likely to prove to her the most happy of earthly boons. He 
was not sanguine of acquital ; and even in acquittal, a voice at his 
heart suggested insuperable barriers to their union, which had not 
existed when it was first anticipated. 

"Yes, let her die," he would say, "let her die; she at least is 
certain of heaven ! " But the human infirmity clung around him, 
and nothwithstanding this seeming resolution in her absence, he 
did not mourn the less, he was not stung the less, when he saw her 
again, and beheld a new character from the hand of death graven 
upon her form. No ; we may triumph over all weakness, but that 
of the affections ! Perhaps in this dreary and haggard interval 
of time, these two persons loved each other more purely, more 
strongly, more enthusiastically, than they had ever done at any 
former period of their eventful history. _ Over the hardest stone, 
as over the softest turf, the green moss will force its verdure and 
sustain its life ! 



EUGENE ARAM. Ml 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE EVENING BEFORE THE TRIAL.— THE C0UBIN8.— THE CHANGE IJf 
MADRLINB.— THE FAMILY OF GRA8SDALE MEET ONCE MORE BE- 
NEATH ONE ROOF. 



Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows! 
For Sorrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears, 
Divides one thing entire to many objects. 
****** 
Hope is a flatterer, 
A parasite, a keeper back of death, 
Who gently would dissolve the bands of death, 
Which false Hope lingers in extremity. — Richard II. 



It was the evening before the trial. Lester and his daughters 
lodged at a retired and solitary house in the suburbs of the town of 
York ; and thither, from the village some miles distant, in which 
he had chosen his own retreat, "Walter now proceeded across fields 
laden with the ripening corn. The last and the richest month of 
summer had commenced ; but the harvest was not yet begun, and 
deep and golden showed the vegetation of life, bedded among the 
dark; verdure of the hedgerows, and the "merrie woods ! " The 
evening was serene and lulled ; at a distance arose the spires and 
chimnevs of the town, but no sound from the busy hum of men 
reached the ear. Nothing perhaps gives a more entire idea of 
stillness than the sight of those abodes where " noise dwelleth,' 
lut where you cannot now hear even its murmurs. The stillness 
of a city is "far more impressive than that of Nature ; for the mind 
instantly compares the present silence with the wonted uproar. 
The harvest-moon rose slowly from a copse of gloomy firs, and 
infused its own unspeakable magic into the hush and transparency 
of the night. As Walter walked slowly on, the sound of voices 
from some rustic party going homeward broke jocundly on the 
silence, and when he paused for a moment at the stile, from which 
he tirst caught a glimpse of Lester ^ house, he saw, winding along 
the green hedgerow, some village pair, the " lover and the maid, ' 
who could meet only at such hours, and to whom such hours were 
therefore especially dear. It was altogether a scene of pure and 
true pastoral character, and there was all around a semblance of 
tranquillity, of happiness, which 6uits with the poetical and the 
scriptural paintings of a pastoral life ; and which perhaps, in a new 
and fertile country, may still find a realization. From this scene, 
from these thoughts, the young loiterer turned with a sigh towards 
the solitary house in which this night could awaken none but the 
most anxious feelings, and that moon could beam only on the moat 
troubled hearts 



262 ET7GENE ARAM. 



" Terra salutiferas herbas, eademque nocentes 
Nutrit ; et urticse proxima saepe rosa est." * 

He now walked more quickly on, as if stung by his reflections, and 
avoiding the path which led to the front of the house, gained a 
little garden at the rear ; and opening a gate that admitted to a 
narrow and shaded walk, over which the linden and nut trees made 
a sort of continuous and natural arbour, the moon piercing at 
broken intervals through the boughs, rested on the form of Ellinor 
Lester. 

" This is most kind, most like my own sweet cousin," said "Walter, 
approaching ; " I cannot say how fearful I was, lest you should not 
meet me after all." 

"Indeed, Walter," replied Ellinor, "I found some difficulty in 
concealing your note, which was given me in Madeline's presence ; 
and still more in stealing out unobserved by her, for she has been, 
as you mav well conceive, unusually restless the whole of this 
agonising day. Ah, Walter, would to God you had never left 
us!" 

"Rather say," rejoined Walter, "Would that this unhappy 
man, against whom my father's ashes still seem to me to cry aloud, 
had never come into our peaceful and happy valley ! Then you 
would not have reproached me, that I have sought justice on a 
suspected murderer ; nor I have longed for death rather than, in 
that justice, have inflicted such distress and horror on those whom 
I love the best ! " 

" What, Walter, you yet believe — you are yet convinced that 
Eugene Aram is the real criminal ? " 

"Let to-morrow show," answered Walter. "But poor, poor 
Madeline ! how does she bear up against this long suspense ? You 
know I have not seen her for months." 

" Oh ! Walter," said Ellinor, weeping bitterly ; " you would not 
Know her, so dreadfully is she altered. I fear " (here sobs choked 
the sister's voice, so as to leave it scarcely audible) — " that she is 
not many weeks for this world ! " 

" Just Heaven ! is it so ?" exclaimed Walter, so shocked, that 
the tree against which he leant scarcely preserved him from falling 
to the ground, as the thousand remembrances of his first love 
rushed upon his heart. " And Providence singled me out of the 
whole world to strike this blow ! " 

Despite her own grief, Ellinor was touched and smitten by the 
violent emotion of her cousin ; and the two young persons, lovers, 
though love was at this time the least perceptible feeling of their 
breast, mingled their emotions, and sought, at least, to console and 
cheer each other. 

" It may yet be better than our fears," said Ellinor, soothingly. 
" Eugene may be found guiltless, and in that joy we may forget all 
the past." 

* The same earth produces health-bearing and deadly plants j— and oft-times tin 
rose grows nearest to the nettle. 



EUGENE ARAM. 233 

Walter shook his head despondingly " Your heart, Ellinor, 
was always kind to me. You now axe the only one to do me jus- 
tiee, and to see how utterly reproaohless I am for all the misery the 
crime of another occasions. But my uncle — him, too, I have not 
seen for somo time : is he well ?" 

"Yes, Walter, yes," said Ellinor, kindly disguising the real 
truth, how much her father's vigorous frame had been bowed by 
his state of mind. "And I, you see," added she, with a faint 
attempt to smile, — " I am, in health at least, the same as when, 
this time last year, we were all happy and full of hope." 

Walter looked hard upon that lace, onoe so vivid with the rich 
colour and the buoyant and arch expression of liveliness and 
youth, now pale, subdued and worn by the traces of constant 
tears ; and, pressing his hand convulsively to his heart, turned 
away. 

" But can I not see my uncle ?" said he, after a pause. 

" He is not at home : he has gone to the Castle," replied 
Ellinor. 

" I shall meet him, then, on his way home," returned Walter. 
" But, Ellinor, there is surely no truth in a vague rumour which I 
heard in the town, that Madeline intends to be present at the trial 
to-morrow r" 

" Indeed, I fear that she will. Both my father and myself have 
sought strongly and urgently to dissuade her, but in vain. You 
know, with all that gentleness, how resolute she is when her mind 
is once determined on any object." 

" But if the verdict should be against the prisoner, in her state of 
health consider how terrible would be the shock ! Nay, even the 
joy of acquittal might be equally dangerous ; for Heaven's sake, do 
not suffer her." 

"What is^to be done, Walter?" said Ellinor, wringing her 
hands. " We cannot help it. My father has, at last, forbid me to 
contradict the wish. Contradiction, the physician himself says, 
might be as fatal as concession can be. And my father adds, in a 
stern calm voice, which it breaks my heart to hear, ' Be still, 
Ellinor. If the innocent is to perish, the sooner she joins him the 
better: I would then have all my ties on the other side the 
grave ! ' " 

" How that strange man seems to have fascinated you all ! " said 
"Walter, bitterly. 

Ellinor did not answer : over her the fascination had never beon 
to an equal degree with the rest of herfamily. 

" Ellinor ! " said Walter, who had been walking for the last few 
moments to and fro with the rapid strides of a man debating with 
himself, and who now suddenly paused, and laid his hand on his 
cousin's arm — " Ellinor! I am resolved. I must, for the quiet of 
my soul, I must see Madeline this night, and win her forgiveness, 
for all I have been made the unintentional agent of Providence to 
bring upon her. The peace of my future life may depend on this 
single interview. What if Aram be condemned i — and — in short, 
it is no matter — I must see her." 



J64 EUGENJS AHAM. 

" She would not hear of it, I fear," said Ellinor in alarm. " In- 
deed, you cannot ; you do not know her state of mind." 

"Ellinor!" said "Walter, doggedly, "lam resolved." And so 
saying, he moved towards the house. 

'" Well, then," said Ellinor, whose nerves had been greatly 
shattered by the scenes and sorrow of the last several months ; "if 
it must be so, wait at least till I have gone in, and consulted or 
prepared her." 

"As you will, my gentlest, kindest cousin; I know your pru- 
dence and affection. I leave you to obtain me this interview ; you 
can, and will, I am convinced." 

" Do not be sanguine, Walter. I can only promise to use my 
best endeavours," answered Ellinor, blushing as he kissed her 
hand; and, hurrying up the walk, she disappeared within the 
house. 

"Walter walked for some moments about the alley in which 
Ellinor had left him ; but, growing impatient, he at length wound 
through the overhanging trees, and the house stood immediately 
before him, — the moonlight shining full on the window-panes, and 
sleeping in quiet shadow over the green turf in front. He ap- 
proached yet nearer, and through oneof the windows, by a single 
light in the room, he saw Ellinor leaning over a couch, on which a 
form reclined, that his heart, rather than his sight, told him was 
his once-adored Madeline. He stopped, and his breath heaved 
thick ; he thought of their common home at Grassdale, of the old 
manor-house, of the little parlour, with the woodbine at its case- 
ment, of the group within, once so happy and light-hearted, of 
which he had formerly made the one most buoyant, and not least 
loved. And now this strange, this desolate house, himself estranged 
from all once regarding him (and those broken-hearted), this night 
ushering what a morrow ! He groaned almost aloud, and retreated 
once more into the shadow of the trees. In a few minutes the door 
at the right of the building opened, and Ellinor came forth with a 
quick step. 

" Come in, dear Walter," said she ; " Madeline has consented to 
Bee you : nay, when I told her you were here, and desired an inter- 
view, she paused but for one instant, and then begged me to admit 
you." 

" God bless her ! " said poor Walter, drawing his hand across 
his eyes, and following Ellinor to the door. 

" You will find her greatly changed ! " whispered Ellinor, as 
they gained the outer hall ; " be prepared ! " 

Walter did not reply, save by an expressive gesture ; and Ellinor 
led him into a room, which communicated by one of those glass 
doors often to be seen in the old-fashioned houses of country towns, 
with the one in which he had previously seen Madeline. With a 
noiseless step, and almost holding his breath, he followed his fair 
guide through this apartment, and he now stood by the couch, on 
which Madeline still reclined. She held out her hand to him — he 
pressed it to his lips, without daring to look her in the face : and 
after a moment's pause, she said, — 



ECGKNE ARAM. 265 

" So, you wished to see me, Walter ! It is an anxious nia-ht 
this for all of us ! " 

"For alt!" repeated Walter, emphatioally ; "and for me not 
the least ! " 

" We have known some sad days since we last met ! " renewed 
Madeline : and there was another and an embarrassed pause. 

" Madelines-dearest Madeline ! " said Walter, and at length 
dropping on his knee ; " you, whom while I was yet a boy I so 
fondly, passionately loved ;— you who yet are— who, while I live, 
ever will be, so inexpressibly dear to me — say but one word to me 
in this uncertain and dreadful epoch of our fate — say but one word 
to me — say you feel you are conscious that throughout these ter- 
rible events I have not been to blame — I have not willingly brought 
this affliction upon our house — least of all upon that heart which 
my own would have forfeited its best blood to preserve from the 
slightest evil ;— or, if you will not do me this justice, say at least 
that you forgive me ! " 

" Iforgive you, Walter ! — I do you justice, my cousin ! " replied 
Madeline, with energy, and raising herself on her arm. "It is 
long since 1 have felt how unreasonable it was to throw any blame 
upon you— the mere and passive instrument of fate. If I have 
forborne to see you, it was not from an angry feeling, but from a 
reluctant weakness. God bless and preserve you, my dear cousin ! 
I know that your own heart has bled as profusely as ours ; and it 
was but this day that I told my father, if we never met again, to 
express to you some kind message as a last memorial from me. 
Don't weep, Walter ! It is a fearful thing to see men weep ! It is 
only once that I have seen him weep, — that was long, long ago ! 
He has no tears in the hour of dread and danger. But no matter : 
this is a bad world, Walter, and I am tired of it. Are not you ? 
Why do you look so at me, Ellinor ? I am not mad ! Has she 
told you that I am, Walter ? Don't believe her ! Look at me ! I 

am calm and collected ! Yet to morrow is God ' God '— 

if— if !^" 

Madeline covered her face with her hands, and became suddenly 
silent, though only for a short time ; when she again lifted up her 
eyes, they encountered those of Walter ; as through those blinding 
and agonised tears which are wrung from the grief of manhood, he 
gazed upon that face on which nothing of herself, save the divine 
and unearthly expression which had always characterised her 
loveliness, Tvas left. 

" Yes, Walter, I am wearing fast away— fast beyond the power 
of chance ! Thank God, who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, 
if the worst happen, we cannot be divided long. Ere another 
Sabbath has passed, I may be with him in Paradise. What cause 
shall we then have for regret ? " 

Ellinor flung herself on her sister's neck, sobbing violently.— 
"Yes, we shall regret you are not with us, Ellinor ; but you will 
also soon grow tired of the world ; it is a sad place— it is a wicked 
place— it is full of snares and pitfalls. In our walk to-day lies our 
dertructiou for to-morrow ! You will find this soon, Eilinor ! And 



i36 EUGENE iiu... 

you, and my father, and "Walter, too, shall join us ! Hark ! the 
clock strikes ! By this time to-morrow night, what triumph ! — or 
to me at least [sinking her voice into a whisper, that thrilled 
through the very bones of her listeners], what peace ! " 

Happily for all parties, this distressing scene was here inter- 
rupted. Lester entered the room with the heavy step into which 
his once elastic and cheerful tread had subsided. 

"Ha, Walter," said he, irresolutely glancing over the group; 
but Madeline had already sprung from her seat. 

" You have seen him ! — you have seen him ! And how does he 
— how dees he look ? But that I know : I know his brave heart 
does not sink. And what message does he send to me ? And — and 
— tell me all, my father ; quick, quick ! " 

"Dear, miserable child! — and miserable old man!" muttered 
Lester, folding her in his arms ; " but we ought to take courage 
and comfort from him, Madeline. A hero, on the eve of battle, 
could not be more firm — even more cheerful. _ He smiled often — 
his old smile ; and he only left tears and anxiety to us. But of 
you, Madeline, we spoke mostly : he would scarcely let me say a 
word on anything else. Oh, what a kind heart ! — what a noble 
spirit ! And perhaps a chance to-morrow may quench both. But, 
God ! be just, and let the avenging lightning fall on the real crimi- 
nal, and not blast the innocent man ! " 

"Amen ! " said Madeline, deeply. 

" Amen ! " repeated Walter, laying his hand on his heart. 

" Let us pray ! " exclaimed Lester, animated by a sudden im- 
pulse, and falling on his knees. The whole group followed his 
example ; and Lester, in a trembling and impassioned voice, poured 
forth an extempore prayer, that justice might fall only where it 
was due. Never did that majestic and pausing moon, which filled 
the lowly room as with the presence of a spirit, witness a more 
impressive adjuration, or an audience more absorbed and rapt. 
Pull streamed its holy rays upon the now snowy locks and upward 
countenance of Lester, making his venerable person more striking 
from the contrast it afforded to the dark and sunburnt cheek — the 
energetic features, and chivalric and earnest head of the young 
man beside him. Just in the shadow, the raven locks of Ellinor 
were bowed over her clasped hands, — nothing of her face visible ; 
the graceful neck and heaving breast alone distinguished from the 
shadow; — and, hushed in a death-like and solemn repose, the 
parted lips moving inaudibly ; the eye fixed on vacancy ; the wan, 
transparent hands, crossed upon her bosom ; the light shone with a 
more softened and tender ray, upon the faded but all-angelic form 
and countenance of her, for whom Heaven was already preparing 
its eternal recompense for the ills of Eartb . 



CHAPTER V. 

THE THIAL. 



Equal to cither fortune. — Speech of Eugene Aram. 



A thought comes over us sometimes, in our career of pleasure, 
or the troubled exultation of our ambitious pursuits : a thought 
comes over us, like a cloud ; — that around us and about us Death — 
Shame — Crime — Despair, are busy at their work. I have read 
somewhere of an enchanted land, where the inmates walked along' 
voluptuous gardens, and built palaces, and heard music, and made 
merry : wliue around, and within, the land, were deep caverns, 
where the gnomes and the iiends dwelt : and ever and anon 
their groans' and laughter, and the sounds of their unutterable 
toils, or ghastly revels, travelled to the upper air, mixing in an 
awful strangeness with the summer festivity and buoyant occupa- 
tion of those above. And this is the picture of human life ! These 
reflections of the maddening disparities of the world are dark, but 
salutary :— 

" They wrap our thoughts at banquets in the shroud ;"* 

— but we are seldom sadder without being also wiser men ! 

The third of August, 1759, rose bright, calm, and clear ; it was 
the morning of the trial ; and when Ell in or stole into her sister's 
room, she found Madeline sitting before the glass, and braiding her 
rich locks with an evident attention and care. 

" I wish," said she, " that you had pleased me by dressing as for 
a holiday. See, I am going to wear the dress I was to have been 
married in." 

Ellinor shuddered ; for what is more appalling than to find the 
signs of paitty accompanying the reality of anguish ! 

" Yes," continued Madeline, with a smile of inexpressible sweet- 
ness, " a little reflection will convince you that this day ought not 
to be one of mourning. It was the suspense that has so worn out 
our hearts. If he is acquitted, as we all believe and trust, think 
how appropriate will be the outward seeming of our joy ! If not, 
why I shall go before him to our marriage home, and in marriage 
garments. Ah," she added, after a moment's pause, and with a 
much more grave, settled, and intense expression of voice and 
countenance — " ay ; do you remember how Eugene_ onoe told us, 
that if we went at noonday to the bottom of a deep pit,* we should 
be able to see the stars, which on the level ground are invisible r 

* Young. 

t The remark u in Aristotle. Buffon quotes it, with his usual adroit felicity, fa, 
I think, the fin* volume of his great work. 



268 ETJGENE AEAM. 

Even so, from the depths of grief — worn, wretched, seared, and 
dying — the blessed apparitions and tokens of heaven make them- 
selves visible to our eyes. And I know — I have seen — I feel here," 
pressing her hand on her heart, " that my course is run ; a few 
sands only are left in the glass. Let us waste them bravely. Stay, 
Ellinor ! You see these poor withered rose-leaves : Eugene gave 
them to me the day before — before that fixed for our marriage. I 
shall wear them to-day, as I would have worn them on the 
wedding-day. When he gathered the poor flower, how fresh it 
was : and I kissed off the dew ; now see it ! But, come, come ; 
this is trifling : we must not be late. Help me, Nell, help me : 
come, bustle, quick, quick ! Nay, be not so slovenly : I told you I 
would, be dressed with care to-day." 

And when Madeline was dressed, though the robe sat loose and 
in large folds over her shrunken form, yet, as she stood erect, and 
looked with a smile that saddened Ellinor more than tears at her 
image in the glass, perhaps her beauty never seemed of a more 
striking and lofty character, — she looked, indeed, a bride, but the 
bride of no earthly nuptials. Presently they heard an irresolute 
and trembling step at the door, and Lester knocking, asked if they 
were prepared. 

" Come in, father," said Madeline, in a calm and even cheerful 
voice ; and the old man entered. 

He east a silent glance over Madeline's white dress, and then at 
his own, which was deep mourning : the glance said volumes, and 
its meaning was not marred by words from any one of the three. 

" Yes, father," said Madeline, breaking the pause, — " we are all 
•ready. Is the carriage here ? " 

" It is at the door, my child." 

" Come, then, Ellinor, come ! " and leaning on her arm, Madeline 
walked towards the door. When she got to the threshold, she 
paused, and looked round the room. 

" What is it you want ? " asked Ellinor. 

" I was but bidding all here farewell," replied Madeline, in a 
•soft and touching voice. " And now before we leave the house, 
father, — sister, one word with you ; — you have ever been very, verv 
kind to me, and most of all in this bitter trial, when I must havo 
taxed your patience sadly — for I know all is not right here [touch- 
ring her forehead], — I cannot go forth this day without thanking 
you. Ellinor, my dearest friend — my fondest sister— my playmate 
in gladness — my comforter in grief — my nurse in sickness ; — since 
we were little children, we have talked together,, and laughed 
together, and wept together, and though we knew all the thoughts 
of each other, we have never known one thought that we would 
have concealed from God ; — and now we are going to part !— do not 
stop me, it must be so, I know it. But, after a little while may 
you be happy again ; not so buoyant as you have been — that can 
never be, tut still happy ! You are formedfor love and home, and 
for those ties you once thought would be mine. God grant that I 
may have suffered for us both, and that when we meet hereafter 
yott may tell me you have been happv here ! " 



EUGKNE ARAM. lil)!) 

" But you, father," added Madeline, tearing herself from the 
neck of her weeping sister, and sinking on her knees before Lester, 
who leaned against the wall oonvulsed with his emotions, and 
covering his face with his hands— "but you, — what can I say to 
you f You, who have never, — no, not in my first childhood, said 
one harsh word to me— who have sunk all a lather's authority in a 
father's love, — how can I say all that I- feel for you? — the grateful, 
overflowing (painful, yet on, how sweet !) remembrances which 
crowd around and suflocate me now ? — The time will come when 
Ellinor and Ellinor's children must be all in all to you — when of 
your poor Madeline nothing will be left but a memory ; but they, 
they will watch on you and tend you, and protect your grey hairs 
from sorrow, as I might once have hoped I also was fated to do." 

" My child ! my child ! you break my heart !" faltered forth at 
last the poor old man, who till now had in vain endeavoured to 
speak. 

" Give mo your blessing, dear father," said Madeline, herself 
overcome by her feelings : — " put your hand on my head and bless 
me— and say, that if I have ever unconsciously given you a 
moment's pain, I am forgiven !" 

"Forgiven!" repeated Lester, raising his daughter with weak 
and trembling arms as his tears fell fast upon her cheek, — " never 
did I feel what an angel had sat beside my hearth till now ! But 
be comforted— be cheered. "What if Heaven had reserved its 
crowning mercy till this day and Eugene be amongst us, free, 
acquitte-l, triumphant before the night !" 

' Ha ! " said Madeline, as if suddenly roused by the thought into 
new life : — " ha ! let us hasten to find your words true. Yes J 
yes ! — if it should be so — if it should. And," added she, in a hollow 
voice (the enthusiasm checked), " if it were not for my dreams, I 
might believe it would be so : — But — come — I am ready now ! " 

The carriage went slowly through the crowd that the fame of the 
approaching trial had gathered along the streets, but the blinds 
were drawn down, and tho father and daughter escaped that worst 
of tortures, the curious gaze of strangers on distress. Places had 
been kept for them in court, and as they left the carriage and 
entered the. fatal spot, the venerable figure of Lester, and the 
trembline and veiled forms that clung to him, arrested all eyes. 
They at length gained their seats, and it was not long before a 
bustle in the court drew off attention from them. A buzz, a 
murmur, a movement, a dread pause ! Houseman was first 
arraigned on his former indictment, acquitted, and admitted evi- 
dence against Aram, who was thereupon arraigned. The prisoner 
stood at the bar ! Madeline gasped for breath, and clung, with a 
convulsive motion, to her sister's arm. But presently, with a long 
sigh, she recovered her self-possession, and sat quiet and silent, 
firing Lit eyes upon Aram's countenance ;_ and the aspect of that 
countenance was well calculated to sustain her courage, and. to 
mingle a sort of exulting pride with all the strained and fearful 
a cuteness of her sympathy. Something, indeed, of what he had 
suffered was visible in the prisoner's features ; the lines around the 



Jff'C EUGENE ARAM. 

-mouth, in which mental anxiety generally the most deeply writes 
its traces, were grown marked and furrowed ; grey hairs were here 
and there scattered amongst the rich and long luxuriance of the 
dark brown locks, and as, before his imprisonment, he had seemed 
considerably younger than he was, so now time had atoned for its 
past delay, and he might have appeared to have told more years 
than had really gone over his head ; but the remarkable light and 
beauty of his eye was undimmed as ever, and still the broad ex- 
panse of his forehead retained its unwrinkled surface and striking 
expression of calmness and majesty. High, self-collected, serene, 
and undaunted, he looked upon the crowd, the scene, the judge, 
before and around him ; and, even on those who believed him 
guilty, that involuntary and irresistible respect which moral firm- 
ness always produces on the mind, forced an unwilling interest in 
his fate, and even a reluctant hope of his acquittal. 

Houseman was called upon. No one could regard his face with- 
out a certain mistrust and inward shudder. In men prone to 
cruelty, it has generally been remarked, that there is an animal 
expression strongly prevalent in the countenance. The murderer 
and the lustful man are often alike in the physical structure. 
The bull-throat — the thick lips — the receding forehead — the fierce, 
restless eye, which some one or other says reminds you of the 
buffalo in the instant before he becomes dangerous, are the outward 
tokens of the natural animal unsoftened — unenlightened — unre- 
deemed — consulting only the immediate desires of his nature, 
whatever be the passion (lust or revenge) to which they prompt. 
And this animal expression, the witness of his character, was 
especially stamped upon Houseman's rugged and harsh features ; 
rendered, if possible, still more remarkable at that time by a mix- 
ture of sullenness and timidity. The conviction that his own life 
was saved, could not prevent remorse at his treachery in accusing 
his comrade — a confused principle of honour of which villains are 
the most susceptible when every other honest sentiment has deserted 
them. 

With a low, choked, and sometimes a faltering tone, Houseman 
deposed, that, in the night between the 7th and 8th of January, 
1744-5, some time before eleven o'clock, he went to Aram's house ; 
that they conversed on different matters ; that he Stayed there 
about an hour ; that some three hours afterwards he passed, in 
company with Clarke, by Aram's house, and Aram was outside the 
•door, as if he were about to return home ; that Aram invited them 
both to come in ; that they did so ; that Clarke, who intended to 
leave the town before daybreak, in order, it was acknowledged, to 
make secretly away with certain property in his possession, was 
about to quit the house, when Aram proposed to accompany him 
out of the town ; that he (Aram) and Houseman then went forth 
with Clarke ; that when they came into the field where St. Robert's 
Cave is, Aram and Clarke went into it, over the hedge, and when 
they came within six or eight yards of the cave, he saw them 
quarrelling ; that he saw Aram strike Clarke several times, upon 
which Clarke fell, and he never saw him rise again ; that he saw 



KUUENE AEAM. 271 

no instrument Aram had, and knew not that he had any ; that 
upon this, without any interposition or alarm, he left them and 
returned homo ; that the next morning he went to Aram's house, 
and asked what business he had with Clarke last night, and what 
he had done with him ? Aram replied not to this question ; but 
threatened him, if he spoke of his being in Clarke's company that 
niirlit : vowing revenge, either by himself or some other person, if 
he mentioned anvthing relating to the affair. This was the sum of 
Houseman's evidence. 

A Mr. Beckwith was next called, who deposed that Aram's 
garden had been searched, owing to a vague suspicion that he might 
have been an accomplice in the frauds of Clarke ; that some parts 
of clothing, and also some pieces of cambric which he had sold to 
Clarke a little while before, were found there. 

The third witness was the watchman, Thomas Barnet, who de- 
posed, that before midnight (it might be a little after eleven) he 
saw a person come out from Aram's house, who had a wide coat on, 
with the cape about his head, and seemed to shun him ; whereupon 
he went up to him, and put by the cape of his great coat, and per- 
ceived it to be Richard Houseman. He contented himself with 
wishing him good night. 

The officers' who executed the warrant then gave their evidence 
as to the arrest, and dwelt on some expressions dropped by Aram 
before he arrived at Knaresborough, which, however, were felt to 
be wholly unimportant. 

After this evidence there was a short pause : — and then a shiver, 
— that recoil and tremor which men feel at any exposition of the 
relics of the dead, — ran through the court ; for the next witness 
was mute — it was the skull of the deceased ! On the left side 
there was a fracture, that from the nature of it seemed as if it could 
only have been made by the stroke of some blunt instrument. 
The piece was broken, and could not be replaced but from within. 

The surgeon, Mr. Locock, who produced it, gave it as his opinion 
that no such breach could proceed from natural decay — that it was 
not a recent fracture by the instrument with which it was dug up, 
but seemed to be of many years' standing. 

This made the chief part of the evidence against Aram ; the 
minor points we have omitted, and also such as, like that of 
Aram's hostess, would merely have repeated what the reader knew 
before. 

And now closed the criminatory evidence — and now the prisoner 
was asked, the thrilling and awful question — " What he had to say 
in his own hehall r " Till now, Aram had not changed his posture 
or his countenance — his dark and piercing eye had for one instant 
fixed on each witness that appeared against him, and then dropped 
its gaze upon the ground. But at this moment, a faint hectic 
flushed his cheek, and he seemed to gather and knit himself up for 
defence. He glanced round the court as if to see what had been 
the impression created against him. His eye rested on the grey 
locks of Rowland Lester, who, looking down, had covered hia 
face with his hands. But beside that venerable form was the 



272 EUGENE ABAM. 

still and marble face of Madeline ; and even at that distance from 
him. Aram perceived how intent was the hushed suspense of her 
emotions. But when she caught his eye — that eye which, even at 
such a moment, beamed unutterable love, pity, regret for her— a 
wild, a convulsive smile of encouragement, of anticipated triumph, 
broke the repose of her colourless features, and suddenly dying 
away, left her lips apart, in that expression which the great 
masters of old, faithful to nature, give alike to the struggle of 
hope and the pause of terror. 

" My lord," began Aram, in that remarkable defence still extant, 
and still considered as wholly unequalled from the lips of one 
defending his own cause ; — my lord, I know not whether it is of 
right, or through some indulgence of your lordship, that I am 
allowed the liberty, at this bar, and at this time, to attempt a 
defence ; incapable and uninstructed as I am to speak. Since, 
while I see so many eyes upon me, so numerous and awful a con- 
course, fixed with attention, and filled with I know not what 
expectancy, I labour, not with guilt, my lord, but with perplexity. 
For, having never seen a court but this, being wholly unacquainted 
with law, the customs of the bar, and all judiciary proceedings, I 
fear I shall be so little capable of speaking with propriety, that it 
might reasonably be expected to exceed my hope should I be able 
to speak at all. 

" I have heard, my lord, the indictment read, wherein I find 
myself charged with the highest of h uman crimes. You will grant 
me, then, your patience, if I, single and unskilful, destitute of 
friends, and unassisted by counsel, attempt something, perhaps, 
like argument, in my defence. What I have to say will be but 
short, and that brevity may be the best part of it. 

" My lord, the tenor of my life contradicts this indictment- 
Who can look back over what is known of my former years, and 
charge me with one vice — one offence ? No ! I concerted not 
«chemes of fraud — projected no violence — injured no man's pro- 
perty or person. My days were honestly laborious — my nights 
Intensely studious. This egotism is not presumptuous, — is not 
unreasonable. "What man, after a temperate use of life, a series of 
thinking and acting regularly, without one single deviation from 
a sober and even tenor of conduct, ever plunged into the depth of 
crime precipitately, and at once ! Mankind are not instantaneously 
corrupted. Villany is always progressive. We decline from right 
— not suddenly, but step after step. 

" If my life in general contradicts the indictment, my health, at 
that time in particular, contradicts it more. A little time before, 
I had been confined to my bed — I had suffered under a long and 
severe disorder. The distemper left me but slowly, and in part. 
So far from being well at the time I am charged with this fact, I 
never, to this day, perfectly recovered. Could a person in this 
condition execute violence against another ? — I, feeble and vale- 
tudinary, with no inducement to engage — no ability to accomplish 
— no weapon wherewith to perpetrate such a fact ; — without interest, 
without power, without motives, without means I 



ecgi:nk aeam. 273 

" My lord, Clarke disappeared ; true ; but is that a proof of bis 
death ? The fallibility of all conclusions of such a sort, from such 
a circumstance, is too obvious to require instances. One instance 
is before you : this very castle affords it. 

"In June 1757, William Thompson, amidst all the vigilance of 
this place, in open daylight, and double-ironed, made his escapo , 
notwithstanding an immediate inquiry set on foot — notwithstand- 
ing all advertisements, all search, ho was never seen or heard of 
since. If this man escaped unseen, through all these difficulties, 
how easy for Clarke, whom no difficulties opposed ! Yet what 
would be thought of a prosecution commenced against any one 
seen last with Thompson ? 

"These bones are discovered! Where? Of all places in the 
world, can we think of any one, except, indeed, the churchyard, 
where there is so great a certainty ot finding human bones, as a 
hermitage ? In time past, the hermitage was a place not only of 
religious retirement, but of burial. And it has scarce, or never 
been heard of, but that every cell now known contains or contained 
these relics of humanity ; some mutilated — some entire ! Give me 
leave to remind your lordship, that here sat solitaet sanctity, 
and here the hermit and the anchorite hoped that repose for their 
bones when dead, they here enjoyed when living. I glance over 
a few of the many evidences that these cells were used as repo- 
sitories of the dead, and enumerate a few of the many caves similar 
in origin to St. Robert's, in which human bones have been found." 
Here the prisoner instanced, with remarkable felicity, several 
places in which bones had been found, under circumstances, and 
in spots, analogous to those in point. * And the reader, who will 
remember that it is the great principle of the law, that no man 
can be condemned for murder unless the remains of the deceased 
be found, will perceive at once how important this point was to 
the prisoner's defence. After concluding his instances with two 
facts, of skeletons founds in fields in the vicinity of Knaresborough 
he burst forth — 

" Is, then, the invention of those bones forgotten or industriously 
concealed, that the discovery of these in question may appear the 
more extraordinary ? Extraordinary — yet how common an event I 
Every place conceals such remains. In fields — in hills — in 
highwav sides — on wastes — on commons, lie frequent and unsus- 
pected bones. And mark — no example, perhaps, occurs of more 
than one skeleton being found in one cell. Here you find but one, 
agreeable to the peculiarity of every known cell in Britain. Had 
two skeletons been discovered, then alone might the fact have 
seemed suspicious and uncommon. What! Have we forgotten 
how difficult, as in the case of Perkin Warbec, and Lambert 
Symnell, it has been sometimes to identify the living ; and shall 
we now assign personality to bones — bones which may belong to 
either sex i How know you that this is even the skeleton of a 
mai? But another skeleton was discovered by some labourer; 

* Sec his published defence. 
X 



274 EOCENE ARAM. 

was not that skeleton averred to be Clarke's, full as confidently 
as this ? 

" My lord, my lord— must some of the living be made answerable 
for all the bones that earth has concealed, and chance exposed? 
The skull that has been produced, has been declared fractured. 
But who can surely tell whether it was the cause or the consequence 
of death ? In May 1732, the remains of William, lord archbishop 
of this province, were taken up by permission in their cathedral ; 
the bones of the skull were found broken, as these are : yet he 
died by no violence— by no blow that could have caused that 
fracture. Let it be considered how easily the fracture on the 
skull produced is accounted for. At the dissolution of religious 
houses, the ravages of the times affected both the living and the 
dead. In search after imaginary treasures, coffins were broken, 
graves and vaults dug open, monuments ransacked, shrines demo- 
Eshed ; parliament itself was called in to restrain these violations. 
And now, are the depredations, the iniquities of those times to be 
visited on this ? But here, above all, was a castle vigorously 
besieged ; every spot around was the scene of a sally, a conflict, a 
flight, a pursuit. Where the slaughtered fell, there were they buried. 
What place is not burial earth in war ? How many bones must 
still remain in the vicinity of that siege, for futurity to discover ! 
Can you, then, with so many probable circumstances, choose the 
one least probable? Can you impute to the living what zeal 
in its fury may have done : what nature may have taken off 
and piety interred ; or what war alone may have destroyed, alone 
deposited ? 

" And now, glance over the circumstantial evidence — how weak 
— how frail ! I almost scorn to allude to it. I will not condescend 
to dwell upon it. The witness of one man, — arraigned himself! 
Is there no chance, that, to save his own life, he might conspire 
against mine ? — no chance, that he might have committed this 
murder, if murder hath indeed been done ? that conscience 
betrayed to his first exclamation ? that craft suggested his throwing 
that guilt on me, to the knowledge of which he had unwittingly 
confessed ? He declares that he saw me strike Clarke — that he saw 
him fall ; yet he utters no cry, no reproof. He calls for no aid ; 
he returns quietly home ; he declares that he knows not what 
became of the body, yet he tells where the body is laid. He 
declares that he went straight home, and alone : yet the woman 
with whom I lodged deposes that Houseman and I returned to 
my house in company together : — what evidence is this ? and from 
whom does it come? — ask yourselves. As for the rest of the 
evidence, what does it amount to ? The watchman sees Houseman 
leave my house at night. What more probable — but what less 
connected with the murder, real or supposed, of Clarke ? Some 
pieces of clothing are found buried in my garden ; but how can it 
be shown that they belonged to Clarke' Who can swear to — 
who can prove anything so vague ? And if found there, even if 
belonging to Clarke, what proof that they were there deposited by 
me ? How likely that the real criminal may, in. the dead of night, 



EUGENK AEASt. 276 

■ lave preferred any sp)t, rather than that round his own home, to 
oonceal the evidence of his crime ? 

" How impotent such evidence as this ! and how poor, how 
precarious, even the strongest of mere circumstantial evidence 
invariably is ! Let it rise to probability, to the strongest degree 
of probability ; it is but probability still. Recollect the case of 
the two Harrisons, recorded by Dr. Howell; both suffered on 
circumstantial evidence on account of the disappearance of a 
man, who, like Clarke, contracted debts, borrowed money, and 
went off unseen. And this man returned several years ifter 
their execution. Why remind you of Jacques du Moulin, in the 
reign of Charles II. ? — why of the unhappy Coleman, con- 
victed, though afterwards found innocent, and whose children 
perished for want, because the world believed the father guilty ? 
Why should I mention the perjury of Smith, who, admitted king's 
evidence, screened himself by accusing Fainloth and Loveday of 
the murder of Dunn ? The first was executed, the second was 
about to share the same fate, when the perjury of Smith was in- 
controvertibly proved. 

" And now, my lord, having endeavoured to show that the whole 
of this charge is altogether repugnant to every part of my life ; that 
it is inconsistent with my condition of health about that time ; 
that no rational inference of the death of a person can be drawn 
from his disappearance ; that hermitages were the constant re- 
positories of the bones of the recluse ; that the proofs of these are 
well authenticated ; that the revolution in religion, or the fortunes 
of war, have mangled or buried the dead ; that the strongest cir- 
cumstantial evidence is often lamentably fallacious ; that in my 
case, that evidence, so far from being strong, is weak, disconnected, 
contradictory, — what remains? A conclusion, perhaps, no less 
reasonably than impatiently wished for. I, at last, after nearly a 
year's confinement, equal to either fortune, intrust myself to the 
candour, the justice, the humanity of your lordship, and to yours, 
my countrymen, gentlemen of the jury." 

The prisoner ceased ; and the painful and choking sensations of 
sympathy, compassion, regret, admiration, all uniting, all mellow- 
ing into one fearful hope for his acquittal, made themselves felt 
through the crowded court. 

In two persons only, an uneasy sentiment remained — a sentiment 
that the prisoner had not completed that which they would have 
asked from him. The one was Lester ; — he had expected a more 
warm, a more earnest, though, perhaps, a less ingenious and artful 
defence. He had expected Aram to dwell far more on the im- 
probable and contradictory evidence of Houseman ; and above all, 
to have explained away all that was still left unaccounted for in 
his acquaintance with Clarke (as we still call the deceased), and 
the allegation that he had gone out with him on the fatal night of 
the disappearance of the latter. At every word of the prisoner's 
defence, he had waited almost breathlessly, in the hope that the 
next sentence would begin an explanation or a denial on this point; 
and when Aram ceased, a chill, a depression, a disappointment, 

W 't 



,76 EUGENE AEAM. 

emained vaguely on his mind. Yet so lightly and so haughtily 
nad Aram approached and glanced over the immediate evidence of 
the witnesses against him, that his silence here might have teen 
but the natural result of a disdain, that belonged essentially to his 
calm and proud character. The other person we referred to, and 
whom his defence had not impressed with a belief in its truth 
equal to an admiration for its skill, was one far more important in 
deciding the prisoner's fate — it was the judge ! 

But Madeline — alas ! alas ! how sanguine is a woman's heart, 
when the innocence, the fate of the one she loves is concerned!— 
a radiant flush broke over a face so colourless before ; and with a 
joyous look, a kindled eye, a lofty brow, she turned to Ellinor, 
pressed her hand in silence, and once more gave up her whole soul 
to the dread procedure of the court. 

The judge now began. It is greatly to be regretted, that we 
have no minute and detailed memorial of the trial, except only the 
prisoner's defence. The summing up of the judge was considered 
at that time scarcely less remarkable than the speech of the pri- 
soner. He stated the evidence with peculiar care and at great 
length to the jury. He observed how the testimony of the other 
deponents confirmed that of Houseman ; and then, touching on 
the contradictory parts of the latter, he made them understand how 
natural, how inevitable, was some such contradiction in a witness 
who had not only to give evidence against another, but to refrain 
from criminating himself. There could be no doubt but that 
Houseman was an accomplice in the crime ; and all therefore that 
seemed improbable in his giving no alarm when the_ deed was 
done, &c. &c. was easily rendered natural and reconcilable with 
the other parts of his evidence. Commenting then on the defence 
of the prisoner (who, as if disdaining to rely on aught save his own 
genius or his own innocence, had called no witnesses, as he_ had 
employed no counsel), and eulogising its eloquence and art, till he 
destroyed their effect, by guarding the jury against that im- 
pression which eloquence and art produce in defiance of simple 
fact, he contended that Aram had yet alleged nothing to invalidate 
the positive evidence against him. 

I have often heard, from men accustomed to courts of law, that 
nothing is more marvellous than the sudden change in the mind of 
a jury, which the summing up of the judge can produce : and in 
the present instance it was like magic. That fatal look of a com- 
mon intelligence, of a common assent, was exchanged among 
the doomers of the prisoner's life and death as the judge con- 
cluded. 

****** 
****** 

They found the prisoner guilty. 

****** 

The judge drew on the black cap. 

****** 

Aram received his sentence in profound composure. Before he 
»eft the bar, he drew himself up to his full height, and looked 



EUGENE ARAM. 2T? 

slowly around the court with that thrilling and almost sublime 
unmovcdness of aspect which belonged to him alone of all men, 
and which was rendered yet more impressive by a smile — slight 
but eloquent beyond all words — of a soul collected in itself . no 
forced and convulsive effort vainly masking the terror or the pang ; 
no mockery of self that would mimic contempt for others, but 
more in majesty than bitterness ; rather as daring fate than 
defying the judgment of others ; rather as if he wrapped himself 
in the independence of a quiet, than the disdain of a despairing, 
heart! 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE DEATH.— THE PRISON — AN INTERVIEW.— ITS RESULT. 



Lay her i' the earth ; 
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh 
May violets spring. 

***** * 

See in my heart there was a kind of fighting:, 
That would not let me sleep. — Hamlet. 



" Bear with me a little longer," said Madeline ; " I shall be 
well, quite well presently." 

Ellinor let down the carriage window to admit the air : and she 
took the occasion to tell the coachman to drive faster. There was 
that change in Madeline's voice which alarmed her. 

" How noble was his look ! you saw him smile ! " continued 
Madeline, talking to herself : " and they will murder him after 
all. Let me see ; this day week, ay, ere this day week, we shall 
meet again." 

" Faster ; for God's sake, Ellinor, tell them to drive faster ! 
cried Lester, as he felt the form that leaned on his bosom wax 
heavier and heavier. They sped on ; the house was in sight ; that 
lonely and cheerless house : not their sweet home at Grassdale, 
with the ivy round its porch, and the quiet church behind ! The 
sun was setting slowly, and Ellinor drew the blind to shade the 
glare from her sister's eye. 

Madeline felt the kindness, and smiled. Ellinor wiped her eyes, 
and tried to smile again. The carriage stopped, and Madeline 
was lifted out ; she stood, supported by her father and Ellinor, for 
a moment on the threshold. She looked on the golden sun and the 
gentle earth ; and the little motes dancing in the western ray — all 
was steeped in quiet, and full of the peace and tranquillity of the 
pastoral life ; " 2^o, no," she muttered, grasping her lather's hand. 
" How is this? this is not his hand ! Ah, no, no ; I am not with 
him ! Father," she added, in a louder and deeper voice, rising 
from his breast, and standing alone and unaided ; — " Father, bury 
this little packet with me, they are his letters : do not break tha 



2? 8 EUGENE AEAM. 

seal, and — and tell him that I never felt how deeply I — loved 
him — till all — the world — had — deserted him ! " 

She uttered a faint cry of pain, and fell at once to the ground ; 
she lived a few hours longer, but never made speech or sign, or 
evinced token of life but its breath, which died at last gradually — 
imperceptibly — away. 

On the following evening, Walter obtained entrance to Aram's 
cell: that morning the prisoner had seen Lester; that morning 
he had heard of Madeline's death. He had shed no tear ; he had, 
in the affecting language of Scripture, " turned his face to the 
wall;" none had seen his emotions ; yet Lester felt in that bitter 
interview that his daughter was duly mourned. 

Aram did not lift his eyes when Walter was admitted, and the 
young man stood almost at his knee before he perceived him. 
Aram then looked up, and they gazed on each other for a moment, 
but without speaking, till Walter said in a hollow voice, — 

" Eugene Aram !" 

"Ay!" 

" Madeline Lester is no more." 

" I have heard it ! I am reconciled. Better now than later." 

" Aram ! " said Walter, in a tone trembling with emotion, and 
passionately clasping his hands, " I entreat, I implore you, at this 
awful time, if it be within your power, to lift from my heart a 
load that weighs it to the dust, that, if left there, will make me 
through life a crushed and miserable man : — I implore you, in the 
name of common humanity, by your hopes of Heaven, to remove 
it ! The time now has irrevocably passed, when your denial or 
your confession could alter your doom ; your days are numbered ; 
there is no hope of reprieve : I implore you, then, if you were led 
— I will not ask how, or wherefore — to the execution of the crime 
for the charge of which you die, to say, — to whisper to me but one 
word of confession, and I, the sole child of the murdered man, will 
forgive you from the bottom of my soul." 

Walter paused, unable to proceed. 

Aram's brow worked — he turned aside — he made no answer; 
his head dropped on his bosom, and his eyes were unmovedly fixed 
on the earth. 

"Reflect," continued Walter, recovering himself, — "Reflect! I 
have been the involuntary instrument in bringing you to this 
awful fate, — in destroying the happiness of my own house, — in — 
in — in breaking the heart of the woman whom I adored even as a 
boy. If you be innocent, what a dreadful remembrance is left to 
me. Be merciful, Aram ! be merciful : and if this deed was done 
by your hand, say to me but one word to remove the terrible 
uncertainty that now harrows up my being. What now is earth, 
is man, is opinion to you ? God only now can judge you. The eye of 
God reads your heart while I speak ; and, in the awful hour when 
eternity opens to you, if the guilt has been indeed committed, 
think, — oh, think how mueh lighter will be your offence if, by 
vanquishing the stubborn heart, you can relieve a human being 
from a doubt that otherwise will ma>e the curse — the horror of an 



J5CGENE AEAM. 27» 

existence. Aram, Aram, if the father's death came from you, 
ohall the life of the son be made a burthen to him through you 
also?" 

" What would you have of me f — speak ! " said Aram, but with- 
out lifting his face from his breast. _ 

" Much of your nature belies this crime. You are wise, calm, 
beneficent to the distressed. Revenge, passion, — nay, the sharp 
pangs of hunger may have urged you to one criminal deed : but 
your soul is not wholly hardened : nEqy, I think I can so far trust 
you, that if at this dread moment— the clay of Madeline Lester 
scarce vet cold, woe busy and softening at your breast, and the 
son of the murdered dead before you ; — if at this moment you can 
lay your hand on your heart, and say, Before God, and at peril 
of my soul, I am innocent of this deed,' I will depart, — I will 
believe you, and bear as bear I may the reflection that I have been 
one of the unconscious agents in condemning to a fearful death an 
innocent man ! If innocent in this — how good, how perfect in all 
else ! But, if you cannot at so dark a crisis take that oath, — then, 
oh then, be just — be generous, even in guilt, and let me not be 
haunted throughout life by the spectre of a ghastly and restless 
doubt ! Speak ! oh, speak ! " 

"Well, well may we judge how crushing must have been that 
doubt in the breast of one naturally bold and fiery, when it thus 
humbled the very son of the murdered man to forget wrath and 
vengeance, and descend to prayer ! But Walter had heard the 
defence of Aram ; he had marked his mien ; not once in that trial 
had he taken his eyes from the prisoner, and he had felt, like a 
bolt of ice through his heart, that the sentence passed on the 
accused, his judgment could not have passed! How dreadful 
must then have been the state of his mind when, repairing 
to Lester's house, he found it the house of death — the pure, the 
beautiful spirit gone — the father mourning for his child, and not 
to be comforted— and Ellinor ? — No ! scenes like these, thoughts 
like these, pluck the pride from a man's heart ! 

"Walter Lester!" said Aram, after a pause; but raising his 
head with a dignity, though on the features there was but one 
expression — woe, unutterable woe; — "Walter Lester! I had 
thought to quit life with my tale untold ; but you have not 
appealed to me in vain ! I tear the self from my heart ! — I re- 
nounce the last haughty dream in which I wrapped myself from the 
ills around me. You shall learn all, and judge accordingly. But 
to your ear the tale can scarce be told : — the son cannot near in 
silence that which, unless I too unjustly, too wholly condemn my- 
self, I must say of the dead ! But time," continued Aram,, mut- 
teringly, and with his eyes on vacancy, " time does not press too 
fast. Better let the hand speak than the tongue : — yes ; the day 
of execution is — ay, ay — two days yet to ft — to-morrow i no ! 
Young man," he said abruptly, turning to Walter, "on the day 
after to-morrow, about seven in the evening — the eve before that 
morn fated to be my last — come to me. At that time I will place 
in your hands a paper containing the whole history that connect! 



580 EDGES E ATCA.1T. 

myself with vour father. On the word of a man on tee brink oJ 
another world, no truth that imports your interest therein shall be 
omitted. But read it not till I am no more ; and when read, 
confine the tale to none till Lester's grey hairs have gone to the 
grave. This swear ! 'tis an oath difficult perhaps to keep, but " 

" As my Redeemer lives, I will swear to both conditions ! 
cried Walter, with a solemn fervour. "But tell me now at 
least " 

"Ask me no more!" interrupted Aram, in his turn. "The 
tir neas when you will know all ! Tarry that time, and leave 
nit ! Yes, leave me now — at once — leave me ! " 

To dwell lingeringly over those passages which excite pain with- 
out satisfying curiosity, is scarcely the duty of the drama, or of 
that province even nobler than the drama ; for it requires minuter 
care — indulges in more complete description — yields to more 
elaborate investigation of motives — commands a greater variety 
of chords in the human heart — to which, with poor and feeble 
power for so high, yet so ill-appreciated a task we now, not irre- 
verently, if rashly, aspire ! 

We glance not around us at the chamber of death — at the broken 
heart of Lester — at the twofold agony of his surviving child — the 
agony which mourns and yet seeks to console another — the mixed 
emotions of Walter, in which an unsleeping eagerness to learn the 
fearful all formed the main part — the solitary cell and solitary 
heart of the convicted — we glance not at these ; — we pass at once 
to the evening in which Aram again saw Walter Lester, and for 
the last time. 

"You are come punctual to the hour," said he, in a low clear 
voice ; " I have not forgotten my word ; the fulfilment of that 
promise has been a victory over myself which no man can appre- 
ciate : but I owed it to you. I have discharged the debt. Enough ! 
— I have done more than I at first purposed. I have extended my 
narration, but superficially in some parts, over my life : that 
prolixity, perhaps, I owe to myself. Eemember your promise: 
this seal is not broken tiU the pulse is stilled in the hand which 
now gives you these papers." 

Walter renewed his oath, and Aram, pausing for a moment, 
continued in an altered and softening voice, — 

" Be kind to Lester : soothe, console him; — never by a hint let 
him think otherwise of me than he does. For his sake more than 
mine I ask this. Venerable, kind old man ! the warmth of human 
affection has rarely glowed for me. To the few who loved me, how 
deeply I have repaid the love ! But these are not words to pass 
between you and me. Farewell ! Yet, before we part, say this 
much : whatever I have revealed in this confession, — whatever has 
been my wrong to you, or whatever (a less offence) the language I 
have now, justifying myself, used to — to your father — say, that 
you grant me that pardon which one man may grant another." 

" Fully, cordially," said Walter. 

" In the day that for you brings the death that to-morrow awaita 
me," said Aram, in a deep tone, " be that forgiveness accorded is 



EUGENE AEA W . 281 

\ mir^.-lf ! Farewell. In that untried variety of being which 
spreads beyond ns, who knows but that, in our several progress- 
from grade to grade, and world to world, our souls, though in far 
distant ages, may meet again '.— one dim and shadowy memory of 
this hour the link between us : farewell — farewell ! " 

For the reader's interest we think it better (and certainly it is- 
more imm> diately in the due course of narrative, if not of actual 
events) to lay at once before him the confession that Aram placed 
in Walter's hands, without waiting till that time when Walter 
himself broke the seal of a confession, — not of deeds alone, but of 
thoughts how wild and entangled — of feelings how strange and 
dark — of a starred soul that had wandered from how proud an. 
orbit, to what perturbed and unholy regions of night and chaos ! 
For me, I have not sought to derive the reader's interest from the 
vulgar sources that such a tale might have afforded ; I have suf- 
fered him, almost from the beginning, to pierce into Aram's secret ; 
and I have prepared him for that guilt, with which other narrators- 
of this story might have only sought to surprise. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE CONFESSION; AND THE FATE. 



In winter's tedious nights, sit by the fire 

With good old folks, and let them tell thee tales 

Of woeful ages long ago betid : 

And ere thou bid good night, to quit their grief, 

Tell them the lamentable fall of me. — Richard II. 



' I was born at Eamsgill, a little village in Netherdale. Mp- 
family had originally been of some rank ; they were formerly lords 
of the town of Aram, on the southern banks of the Tees. But 
time had humbled these pretensions to consideration ; though they 
were still fondly cherished by the inheritors of an ancient name, 
and idle but haughty recollections. My father resided on a smalt 
farm, and was especially skilful in horticulture ; a taste I derived 
from him. When I was about thirteen, the deep and intense pas 
sion that has made the demon of my life, first stirred palpabiy 
within me. I had always been, from my cradle, of a solitary 
disposition, and inclined to reverie and musing ; these traits of 
character heralded the love that now seized me — the love of know- 
ledge. Opportunity or accident first directed my attention to the 
abstruser sciences. I poured my soul over that noble study, which 
is the best foundation of all true discovery ; and the success I met 
with soon turned my pursuits into more alluring channels. His- 
tory, poetry, — the mastery of the past, and the spell that admits us 
into the visionary world, — took the place which lines and numbers 
had done before, I became gradually more and more rapt and 



.282 EUGENE AKAM 

solitary in my habits ; knowledge assumed a yet more lovely and 
bewitching character, and every day the passion to attain it 
increased upon me ; I do not, — I have not now the heart to do it — 
enlarge upon what I acquired without assistance, and with labour 
sweet in proportion to its intensity.* The world, the creation, all 
things that lived, moved, and were, became to me objects contri- 
buting to one passionate, and, I fancied, one exalted end. I 
suffered the lowlier pleasures of life, and the charms of its more 
common ties, to glide away from me untasted and unfelt. As you 
read, in the East, of men remaining motionless for days together, 
with their eyes fixed upon the heavens, my mind, absorbed in the 
contemplation of the things above its reach, had no sight of what 
passed around. My parents died, and I was aa orphan. I had no 
home, and no wealth ; but wherever the field contained a flower, or 
the heavens a star, there was matter of thought, and food for de- 
light, tome. I wandered alone for months together, seldom sleep- 
ing but in the open air, and shunning the human form as that part 
of God's works from which I could learn the least. I came to 
Knaresborough ; the beauty of the country, a facility in acquiring 
books from a neighbouring library that was open to me, made me 
resolve to settle there, And now, new desires opened upon me 
with new stores : I became haunted with the ambition to enlighten 
and instruct my race. At first, I had loved knowledge solely for 
itself : I now saw afar an object grander than knowledge. To what 
end, said I, are these labours ? Why do I feed a lamp which con- 
sumes itself in a desert place ? Why do I heap up riches, without 
asking who shall gather them ? I was restless and discontented. 
What could I do ? I was friendless ; I was strange to my kind ; 
I saw my desires checked when their aim was at the highest: all 
that was aspiring in my hopes, and ardent in my nature, was 
cramped and chilled. I exhausted the learning within my reach. 
Where, with my appetite excited, not slaked, was I, destitute and 
penniless, to search for more ? My abilities, by bowing them to 
the lowliest tasks, but kept me from famine : — was this to be my 
lot for ever ? And all the while I was thus grinding down my soul 
in order to satisfy the vile physical wants, what golden hours, 
what glorious advantages, what openings into new heavens of 
science, what chances of illuminating mankind, were for ever lost 
to me ! Sometimes, when the young, to whom I taught some 
homely elements of knowledge, came around me ; when they 
looked me in the face with their lauging eyes ; when, for they all 
loved me, they told me their little pleasures and their petty sor- 
rows, I have wished that I could have gone back again into child- 
hood, and becoming as one of them, enter into that heaven of quiet 
which was denied me now. Yet it was more often with an indig- 
nant than a sorrowful spirit that I looked upon my lot. For, 
th ere lay my life imprisoned in penury as in the walls of a gaol- 
Heaven smiled and earth blossomed around, but how scale the 

* We icam from a letter of Eugene Aram's, now extant, that his method of 
acquiring the learned languages was to linger over five lines at a time, and never 
so quit a passage till he thought he had comprehended its meaning 



KDGF.NE ARAM. 283 

stern barriers ? — how steal through the inexorable gate f True, 
that by bodily labour I could give food to the body — to starve by 
euch labour the craving wants of the mind. Beg I could not. 
Whenever lived the real student, the true minister and priest of 
Knowledge, who was not filled with the lofty sense of the dignity 
of his calling ? Was I to show the sores of my pride, and strip my 
heart from its clothing, and ask the dull fools of wealth not to let 
a scholar starve ? No ! — he whom the vilest poverty ever stooped 
to this may be the quack, but never the true disciple, of Learning. 
What did I then ? I devoted the meanest part of my knowledge 
to the procuring the bare means of life, and the knowledge that 
pierced to the depths of earth, and numbered the stars of heaven — 
why, that was valueless in the market ! 

"In Knaresborough, at this time, I met a distant relation, Richard 
Houseman. Sometimes in our walks we encountered each other • 
for he sought me, and I could not always avoid him. He was a 
man like myself, born to poverty, yet he had always enjoyed what 
to him was wealth. This seemed a mystery to me ; and when we 
met, we sometimes conversed upon it. ' You are poor, with all 
vour wisdom,' said he. ' I know nothing ; but I am never poor. 
Why is this ? The world is my treasury. — I live upon my kind; 
— Society is my foe. — Laws order me to starve ; but self-preserva- 
tion is an instinct more sacred than society, and more imperious 
than laws.' 

" The audacity of his discourse revolted me. At first I turned 
away in disgust ; — then I stood and heard — to ponder and inquire. 
Nothing so tasks the man of books as his first blundering guess 
at the problems of a guilty heart ! — Houseman had been a soldier ; 
he had seen the greatest part of Europe ; he possessed a strong 
shrewd sense ; he was a villain ; — but a villain bold, adroit, and 
not then thoroughly unredeemed. Trouble seized me as I heard 
him, and the shadow of his life stretched farther and darker over 
the wilderness of mine. When Houseman asked me, ' What law 
befriended the man without money ? — to what end I had cultivated 
my mind ? — or what good the voice of knowledge could effect while 
Poverty forbade it to be heard ? ' the answer died upon my lips. 
Then I sought to escape from these terrible doubts. I plunged 
again into my books. I called upon my intellect to defend, — and 
my intellect betraved me. For suddenly, as I pored over my scanty 
books, a gigantic discovery in science gleamed across me. I saw 
the means of effecting a vast benefit to truth and to man — of add- 
ing a new conquest to that only empire which no_ fate can over- 
throw, and no time wear away. And in this discovery I was 
stopped by the total inadequacy of my means. The books and 
implements I required were not within my reach— a handful of 
gold would buy them — I had not wherewithal to buy bread for the 
morrow's meal ? In my solitude and misery this discovery haunted 
me like a visible form — it smiled upon me — a iiend that took the 
aspect of beauty — it wooed me to its charms that it might lure my 
soul into its fangs. I heard it murmur, ' One liold deed and I am 
thine ! Wilt thou lie down in the ditch aiid die the dog's death. 



284 EUGENE AKAM. 

or hazard thy life for the means that may serve and illumine tha 
world ? Shrinkest thou from men's laws, though the laws bid thee 
rot on their outskirts ? Is it not for the service of man that thou 
shouldst for once break the law on behalf of that knowledge from 
which all laws take their source ? If thou wrongest the one, thoa 
shalt repay it in boons to the million. For the ill of an hour thou 
shalt give a blessing to ages ! ' So spoke to me the tempter. And 
one day, when the tempter spoke loudest, Houseman met me, 
accompanied by a stranger who had just visited our town, for what 
purpose you know already, His name — supposed name — was 
Clarke. Man, I am about to speak plainly of that stranger — his 
character and his fate. And yet — yet you are his son ! I would 
fain soften the colouring ; but I speak truth of myself, and I must 
not, unless I would blacken my name yet deeper than it deserves, 
varnish truth when I speak of others. Houseman joined, and pre- 
sented to me this person. From the first I felt a dislike of the 
stranger, which indeed it was easy to account for. He was of a 
careless and somewhat insolent manner. His countenance was 
impressed with the lines and character of a thousand vices : you 
read in the brow and eye the history of a sordid yet reckless Me. 
His conversation was repellent to me beyond expression. He 
uttered the meanest sentiments, and he chuckled over them as the 
maxims of a superior sagacity ; he avowed himself a knave upon 
system, and upon the lowest scale. To over-reach, to deceive, to 
elude, to shuffle, to fawn and to lie, were the arts to which he 
confessed with so naked and cold a grossness, that one perceived 
that in the long habits of debasement, he was unconscious of 
what was not debased. Houseman seemed to draw him out: 
Clarke told us anecdotes of his rascality, and the distresses to 
which it had brought him ; and he finished by saying : ' Yet 
you see me now almost rich, and wholly contented. I have 
always been the luckiest of human beings : no matter what 
ill chances to-day, good turns up to-morrow. I confess that I 
bring on myself the ill, and Providence sends me the good.' 
We met accidentally more than once, and his conversation was 
always of the same strain — his luck and his rascality : he had no 
other theme, and no other boast. And did not this aid the voice 
of the tempter ? Was it not an ordination that called upon men to 
take fortune in their own hands, when Fate lavished her rewards 
on this low and creeping thing, that could only enter even Vice by 
its sewers and alleys? Was it worth while to be virtuous, ana 
look on, while the bad seized upon the feast of life ? This man 
was but moved by the basest passions, the pettiest desires : he 
gratified them, and fate smiled upon his daring. I, who had shut 
out from my heart the poor temptations of sense — I, who fed only 
the most glorious visions, the most august desires — I, denied 
myself their fruition, trembling and spell-bound in the cerements 
of human laws, withoiit hope, without reward— losing the very 
powers of virtue because I would not stray into crime ! 

" These thoughts fell on me darkly and rapidly ; but they led as 
yet to no result. I saw nothing beyond them. I suffered my 



EUliiNE AKAM. .284 

indignation to gnaw my heart ; and preserved the same calm and 
eerene demeanour which had grown with my growth of mind. 
Strange that while I upbraided Fate, I did not cease to love man- 
kind. I coveted — what? the power to serve them. I had been 
kind and loving to all things from a boy ; there was not a dumb 
animal that would not single me from a crowd as its protector, * and 
yet I was doomed — but I must not forestall the dread catastrophe 
of my life. In returning, at night, to my own home, from my 
long and solitary walks, I often passed the house in which Clarke 
lodged ; and sometimes I met him reeling by the door, insulting 
all who passed ; and yet their resentment was absorbed in their 
disgust. ' And this loathsome and grovelling thing,' said I, inly, 
' squanders on low excesses, wastes upon outrages to society, that 
with which I could make my soul as a burning lamp, that should 
shed a light over the world ! ' 

" There was that in the man's vices that revolted me far mor«> 
than the villany of _ Houseman. The latter had possessed few 
advantages of education; he descended to no minutiae of sin; he 
was a plain, blunt, coarse wretch, and his sense threw something 
respectable around his vices. But in Clarke you saw the traces of 
happier opportunities, of better education ; it was in him not the 
coarseness of manner that displeased, it was the lowness of senti- 
ment that sickened me. Had Houseman money in his purse, he 
would have paid a debt and relieved a friend from mere indifference ; 
not so the other. Had Clarke been overflowing with wealth, he 
would have slipped from a creditor and duped a friend ; there was 
a pitiful cunning in his nature, which made him regard the lowest 
meanness as the subtlest wit. His mind, too, was not only degraded, 
but broken by his habits of life ; he had the laugh of the idiot at 
his own debasement. Houseman was young — he might amend ; but 
Clarke had grey hairs and dim eyes ; was old in constitution, if not 
years ; and everything in him was hopeless and confirmed : the 
leprosy was in the system. Time, in this, has made Houseman 
what Clarke was then. 

" One day, in passing through the street, though it was broad 
noon, I encountered Clarke in a state of intoxication, and talking 
to a crowd he had collected around him. I sought to pass in an 
opposite direction ; he would not suffer me ; he, whom I sickened 
to touch, to see, threw himself in my way, and affected gibe and 
insult, nay, even threat. But when he came near, he shrink before 
the mere glance of my eye, and I passed on, unheeding him. The 
insult galled me; he had taunted my poverty — poverty was a 
favourite jest with him ; it galled me : anger ? revenge ? no ! those 
passions I bad never felt for any man. I could not rouse them for 

• All the authentic anecdotes of Aram corroborate the fact of his natural gentle- 
ness to all things. A clergyman fthe Rev. Mr. Hinton) said that he used fre- 
quently to observe Aram, when walking in the garden, stoop down to remove a snail 
or worm from the path, to prevent its being destroyed. Mr. Hinton ingeniously 
conjectured that Aram wished to atone for his cilme by showing mercy to every 
animal and insect ; but the fact is, that there are several anecdotes to show that 
be was equally humane before the crime was committed. Such are the strange 
contradiction* of the human heart* 



286 EUGENE AHAM. 

the first time at such a cause ; yet I was lowered in my own eyes, 
I was stung. Poverty ! he taunt me ! I wandered from the town, 
and paused by the winding and shagged hanks of the river. It was 
a gloomy winter's day, the waters rolled on black and sullen, and 
the dry leaves rustled desolately beneath my feet. Who shall tell 
us that outward nature has no effect upon our mood ? All around 
seemed to frown upon my lot. I read in the face of heaven and 
earth a confirmation of the curse which man hath set upon poverty. 
I leaned against a tree that overhung the waters, and suffered my 
thoughts to glide on in the bitter silence of their course. I heard 
my name utterred — I felt a hand on my arm, I turned, and House- 
man was by my side. 

" ' What ! moralising ? ' said he, with his rude smile. 

" I did not answer him. 

" ' Look,' said he, pointing to the waters, 'where yonder fish lies 
waiting his prey, — that prey his kind. Come, you have read 
Nature, is it not so universally ? ' 

" Still I did not answer him. 

" ' They who do not as the rest,' he renewed, ' fulfil not the object 
of their existence ; they seek to be wiser than their tribe, and are 
fools for their pains. Is it not so ? I am a plain man and would 
learn.' 

" Still I did not answer. 

" ' You are silent,' said he : ' do I offend you ? 

"'No!' 

"'Now, then,' he continued, 'strange as it may seem, we, .so 
different in mind, are at this moment alike in fortunes. I have 
not a guinea in the wide world ; you, perhaps are equally destitute. 
But mark the difference : I, the ignorant man, ere three days have 
passed, will have filled my purse ; you, the wise man, will be still 
as poor. Come, cast away your wisdom, and do as I do.' 

"'How?' 

"Take from the superfluities of others what your necessities 
crave. My horse, my pistol, a ready hand, a stout heart, these are 
to me what coffers are to others. There is the chance of detection 
and of death ; I allow it ; but is not this chance better than some 
certainties ? ' 

" The tempter with the glorious face and the demon fangs rose 
again before me — and spoke in the robber's voice. 

"'Will you share the danger and the booty?' renewed House- 
man, in a low voice. 

" ' Speak out,' said I ; ' explain your purpose ! 

" Houseman's looks brightened. 

" ' Listen ! ' said he ; ' Clarke, despite his present wealth lawfully 
gained, is about to purloin more ; he has converted his legacy into 
jewels; he has borrowed other jewels on false pretences; he intends 
to make these also his own, and to leave the town in the dead of 
night ; he has confided to me his purpose, and asked my aid. He 
and I, be it known to you, were friends of old ; we have shared 
together other dangers and other spoils. Now do you guess my 



EUGENE AKAM. 283* 

meaning? Let us ease hun of his burden ! I offer to 5 ou the half ; 
share the enterprise and its fruits.' 

"I rose, I walked away, I pressed my hands on my heart. 
Houseman saw the conflict ; he followed me ; he named the value 
of the prize he proposed to gain ; that which he called my share 
placed all my wishes within my reach ! — Leisure, independence, — 
knowledge. The sublime discovery — the possession of the glorious 
Fiend. All, all within my grasp — and by a single deed — no frauds 
oft repeated — no sins long^ continued — a single deed ! I breathed 
heavily — but the weight still lay upon my heart. I shut my eyes and 
shuddered — the mortal shuddered, but still the demon smiled. 

" ' Give me your hand,' said Houseman. 

" ' Xo, no,' I said, breaking away from him. ' I must pause — 
1 must consider — I do not yet refuse, but I will not now decide. 

" Houseman pressed, but I persevered in my determination ; — 
he would have threatened me, but my nature was haughtier than 
his, and I subdued him. It was agreed that he should seek me 
that night and learn my choice — the next night was the one on 
which the robbery was to be committed. We parted — I returned 
an altered man to my home. Fate had woven her mesh around me 
— a new incident had occurred which strengthened the web : there 
was a poor girl whom I had been accustomed to see in my walks. 
She supported her family by her dexterity in making lace, — a 
quiet, patient-looking, gentle creature. Clarke had, a few days 
since, under pretence of purchasing lace, decoyed her to his house 
(when all but himself were from home), where he used the most 
brutal violence towards her. The extreme poverty of her parents 
had enabled him easily to persuade them to hush up the matter, 
but something of the story got abroad ; the poor girl was marked 
out for that gossip and scandal which among the very lowest 
classes are as coarse in the expression as malignant in the senti- 
ment ; and in the paroxysm of shame and despair, the unfortunate 
girl had that day destroyed herself. This melancholy event wrung 
forth from the parents the real story : the event and the story 
Kached my ears in the very hour in which my mind was wavering 
to and fro. ' And it is to such uses,' said the tempter, ' that this 
man puts his gold ! ' 

" Houseman came, punctual to our dark appointment I gave 
bfm my hand in silence. The tragic end of nis victim, and the 
indignation it caused, made Clarke yet more eager to leave the 
town. He had settled with Houseman that he would abscond that 
very night, not wait for the next, as at first he had intended. His 
jewels and property were put in a small compass. He had arranged 
that he would, towards midnight or later, quit his lodging ; and 
about a mile from the town, Houseman had engaged to have a 
chaise in readiness. For this service Clarke had promised Houseman 
a reward, with which the latter appeared contented. It was agreed 
that I should meet Houseman and Clarke at a certain spot in their 
way from the town. Houseman appeared at first fearful lest I 
should relent and waver in my purpose. It is never so with mea 



288 EUGENE AEAM 

whose thoughts are deep and strong. To resolve was the arduous 
step— once resolved, and I cast not a look behind. Houseman left 
me for the present. I could not rest in my chamber. I went 
forth and walked about the town : the night deepened — I saw the 
lights in each house withdrawn, one by one, and at length all was 
hushed : — Silence and Sleep kept court over the abodes of men, 
Nature never seemed to me to make so dread a pause. 

" The moon came out, but with a pale and sickly countenance. 
It was winter ; the snow, which had been falling towards eve, lay 
deep upon the ground ; and the frost seemed to lock the universal 
nature into the same dread tranquillity which had taken possession 
of my soul. 

" Houseman was to have come to me at midnight, just before 
Clarke left his house, but it was nearly two hours after that 
time ere he arrived. I was then walking to and fro before my own 
door ; I saw that he was not alone, but with Clarke. ' Ha ! ' said 
he, 'this is fortunate ; I see vou are just going home. You were 
engaged, I recollect, at some distance from the town, and have, I 
suppose, just returned. Will you admit Mr. Clarke and myself 
for a short time ?— for to tell you the truth,' said he, in a lower 
voice — ' the watchman is about, and we must not be seen by him ! 
I have told Clarke that he may trust you, — we are relatives ! ' 

" Clarke, who seemed strangely credulous and indifferent, con- 
sidering the character of his associate, — but those whom Fate 
destroys she first blinds, — made the same request in a careless 
tone, assigning the same cause. Unwillingly, I opened the door 
and admitted them. We went up to my chamber. Clarke spoke 
with the utmost unconcern of the fraud he purposed, and with a 
heartlessness that made my veins boil, of the poor wretch his 
brutality had destroyed. They stayed for nearly an hour, for the 
watchman remained some time in that beat — and then Houseman 
asked me to accompany them a little way out of the town. Clarke 
seconded the request. We walked forth ; the rest — why need I 
tell ! — I cannot — God, I cannot ! Houseman lied in the court. 
I did not strike the blow — I never designed a murder. Crime 
enough in a robber's deed ! He fell — he grasped my hand, raised 
not to strike but to shield him ! Never more has the right hand 
cursed by that dying clasp been given in pledge of human faith 
and friendship. But the deed was done, and the robber's comrade, 
in the eyes of man and law, was the murderer's accomplice. 

" Houseman divided the booty : my share he buried in the earth, 
leaving me to withdraw it when I chose. There, perhaps, it lies 
still. I never touched what I had murdered my own life to gain. 
His share, by the aid of a gipsy hag with whom he had dealings, 
Houseman removed to London. And now, mark what poor strug- 

§lers we are in the eternal web of destiny ! Three days after that 
eed, a relation who neglected me in life, died, and left me wealth ! 
wealth at least to me ! — Wealth, greater than that for which 

1 had ! The news fell on me as a thunderbolt. Had I 

waited but three little days ! Just Heaven ! when they told me, I 
thought I heard the devils laush out at the fool who had boasted 



EUGENE ARAM, 239 

wisdom. Had I waited but three days, three little days ! — Had 
but a dream been sent me, had but my heart cried within me, — 
' Thou hast suffered long, tarry yet ! '• No, it was for this, for 
the guilt and its penance, for the wasted life and the shameful 
death — with all my thirst for good, my dreams of glory — that I 
was born, that I was marked from my first sleep in the cradle ! 

" The disappearance of Clarke of course created great excite- 
ment ; those whom he had over-reached had naturally an interest 
in discovering him. Some vague surmises that he might have been, 
made away with were rumoured abroad. Houseman and I, owing 
to some concurrence of circumstance, were examined, — not that 
suspicion attached to me before or after the examination. That 
ceremony ended in nothing. Houseman did not betrav himself; 
and I, who from a boy had mastered my passions, Could master 
also the nerves, by which passions are betrayed : but I read in the 
face of the woman with whom I lodged that I was suspected. 
Houseman told me that she had openly expressed her suspicion to 
him ; nay, he entertained some design against her life, which he 
naturally abandoned on quitting the town. This he did soon after- 
wards. I did not linger long behind him. I received my legacy, 
and departed on foot to Scotland. And now I was above want- 
was I at rest ? Not yet. I felt urged on to wander — Cain's curse 
descends to Cain's children. I travelled for some considerable 
time, — I saw men and cities, and I opened a new volume in my 
kind. It was strange ; but before the deed, I was as a child in the 
ways of the world, and a child, despite my knowledge, might have 
duped me. The moment after it, a fight broke upon me, — it seemed 
as if my eyes were touched with a charm, and rendered capable of 
piercing the hearts of men ! Yes, it was a charm, — a new charm — 
it was Suspicion ! I now practised myself in the use of arms, — 
thev made my sole companions. Peaceful as I seemed to the world. 
I felt there was that eternally within me with which the world was 
at war 

"And what became of the superb ambition which had undone 
me ? "Where vanished that Grand Discovery which was to benefit 
the world ? The ambition died in remorse, and the vessel that 
should have borne me to the far Land of Science, lay rotting piece- 
meal on a sea of blood. The Past destroyed my old heritage in the 

* Aram has hitherto been suffered to tell his own tale without comment or inter 
ruption. The chain of reasonings, the metaphysical labyrinth of defence and motive, 
which he wrought around his guilt, it was, in justice to him, necessary to give at 
length, in order to throw a clearer light on his character— ana lighten, perhaps, in 
some measure, the colours of his crime. No moral can b*. more impressive than 
that which teaches how man can entangle himself in his own sophisms — that moral 
is better, viewed aright, than volumes of homilies. But here I must pause for 
one moment, to bid the reader remark, that that event which confirmed Aram in 
the bewildering doctrines of his pernicious fatalism, ought rather to inculcate the 
divine virtue — the foundation of all virtues, Heathen or Christian — that which 
Epictetus made clear, and Christ sacred — Fortitude. The reader will note, that 
the answer to the reasonings that probably convinced the mind of Aram, and 
blinded him to his crime, may be found in the change of feelings by which the 
crime was followed. I must apologize for this interruption— it seemed 1«> mi 
advisable in this dace. 

V 



290 EUGENE ABASE. 

Future. Tht, consciousness that at any hour, in the possession of 
honours, by the hearth of love, I might be dragged forth and pro- 
claimed a murderer ; that I held my life, my reputation, at the 
breath of accident ; that in the moment I least dreamed of, the 
earth might yield its dead, and the gibbet demand its victim :— 
this could I feel — all this— -""A not see a spectre in the place of 
science ? — a spectre that walKed by my side, that slept in my bed, 
that rose from my books, that glided between me and the stars of 
heaven, that stole along the flowers, and withered their sweet 
breath ; that whispered in my ear, ' Toil, fool, and be wise ; the 
gift of Wisdom is to place us abrv-» the reach of fortune, but thou 
art her veriest minion! ' Yes ; 1 paused at last from my wander- 
ings, and -'irrrounded myself with books, and knowledge became 
once more to me what it had been, a thirst ; but not what it had 
been, a reward. I occupied my thoughts, I laid up new hoards 
within my mind, I looked around, and I saw few whose stores were 
like my own ; but— gone for ever the sublime desire of applying 
wisdom to the service of mankind ? Mankind had grown my foes. 
I looked upon them with other eyes. I knew that I carried within 
me that secret which, if bared to day, would make them loathe and 
hate me, — yea, though I coined my future life into one series of 
benefits to them and their posterity ! "Was not this thought enough 
to quell my ardour-^-to chill activity into rest ? The brighter the 
honours I might win — the greater the services I might bestow on 
the world, the more dread and fearful might be my fall at last ! 
I might be but piling up the scaffold from which I was to be hurled ! 
Possessed by these thoughts, a new view of human affairs suc- 
ceeded to my old aspirings : — the moment a man feels that an 
object has ceased to charm, his reasonings reconcile himself to 
Ms loss. ' Why,' said I ; ' why flatter myself that I can serve, 
that I can enlighten mankind ? Are we fully sure that individual 
wisdom has ever, in reality, done so ? Are we really better because 
Newton lived, and happier because Bacon thought ? ' These freez- 
ing reflections pleased the present state of my mind more than the 
warm and yearning enthusiasm it had formerly nourished. Mere 
worldly ambition from a boy I had disdained ; — the true worth of 
Bceptrss and crowns, the disquietude of power, the humiliations of 
Yanity, had never been disguised from my sight. Intellectual 
ambition had inspired me. I now regarded it equally as a delusion. 
I coveted light solely for my own soul to bathe in. 

"Rest now became to me the sole to kalon, the sole charm of 
existence. I grew enamoured of the doctrine of those old mystics 
who have placed happiness only in an even and balanced quietude. 
And where but in r iter loneliness was that quietude to be enjoyed > 
Ino longer wondereu that men in former times, when consumed by 
the recollection of some haunting guilt, fled to the desert and 
"became hermits. Tranquillity and solitude are the only soothers 
of a memory deeply troubled — light griefs fly to the crowd, fierce 
thoughts must battle themselves to rest. Many years had flown, 
*nd I had made my homein many places. All that was turbulent, 
iff not all that was unquiet in my recollections, had died away 



KU0J2NE AB.AM. '-D' 

Time hud lulled me into a sense of security. I breathed more 
freely. 1 sometimes stole from the past. Since I had quitted 
Knaresborough, chance had often thrown it in my power to serve my 
brethren — not by wisdom, but by charity or courage — by individual 
acts that it soothed me to remember. If the grand aim of en- 
lightening a world was gone, if to so enlarged a benevolenoe had 
succeeded, apathy or despair, still the man, the human man, *!"mg 
to my heart ; still was I as prone to pity, as prompt to defend, as 
glad to cheer, whenever the vicissitudes of life afforded me the 
occasion ; and to poverty, most of all, my hand neve* closed. }f.\*r 
oh ! what a terrible devil creeps into that man's soul who seeb 
famine at his door. One tender act and how many black designs, 
struggling into life within, you may crush for ever ! _ He who 
deems the world his foe, — convince him that he has one friend, and 
it is like snatching a dagger from his hand ! 

" I came to a beautiful and remote part of the country. Walter 
Lester, I came to Grassdale ! — the enchanting scenery around, the 
sequestered and deep retirement of the place, arrested me at once. 
' Ajid among these valleys,' I said, ' will I linger out the rest of my 
life, and among these quiet graves shall mine be dug, and my 
secret shall die with me ! " 

"I rented the lonely house in which I dwelt when you first 
knew me, thither I transported my books and instruments of 
science, and a deep quiet, almost amounting to content, fell like a 
sweet sleep upon my soul ! 

" In this state of mind, the most free from memory that I had 
known for twelve years, I first saw Madeline Lester. Even with 
that first time a sudden and heavenly light seemed to dawn 
upon me. Her face — its still, its serene, its touching beauty — 
shone down on my desolation like a dream of mercy — like a 
hope of pardon. My heart warmed as I beheld it, my pulse woke 
from its even slowness. I was young once more. Young! the 
youth, the freshness, the ardour — not of the frame only, but of the 
soul. But I then only saw, or spoke to her — scarce knew her — not 
loved her — nor was it often that we met. The south wind stirred 
the dark waters of my mind, but it passed, and all became hushed 
again. It was not for two years from the time we first saw each 
other, that accident brought us closely together. I pass over the rest. 
We loved ! Yet, oh what struggles were mine during the progress 
<if that love ! How unnatural did it seem to me to yield to a passion 
that united me with my kind ; and as I loved her more, now far 
more torturing grew my fear of the future ! That which had almost 
slept before awoke again to terrible life. The soil that covered the 
past might be riven, the dead awake, and that ghastly chasm 
separate me for ever from heb ? What a doom, too, might I bring 
upon that breast which had begun so confidingly to love me ! 
Often — often I resolved to fly — to forsake her — to seek some desert 
spot in the distant parts of the world, and never to be betrayed 
again into human emotions ! But as the bird flutters in the net, as 
the hare doubles from its pursuers, I did but wrestle, I did but trifle 
with an irresistible doom. Mark how strange are the coincidences 

TT 2 



292 KCGTIIO: AttAM. 

of Fate — Fate that gives us warnings, and takes away the power to 
obey them — ihe idle prophetess, the juggling fiend ! On the same 
evening that brought me acquainted with Madeline Lester, House- 
man, led by schemes of fraud and violence into that part of the 
country, discovered and sought me ! Imagine my feelings, when 
in the hush of night I opened the door of my lonely home to his 
^naamons, and by the light of that moon which had witnessed so 
never-to-be-forgotten a companionship between us, beheld my 
accomplice in murder after the lapse of so many years. Time and 
.<. course or vice had changed, and hardened, and lowered his 
nature : and in the power, — at the will — of that nature, I beheld 
myself abruptly placed. He passed that night under my roof. He 
was poor. I gave him what was in my hands. He promised to 
leave that part of England — to seek me no more. 

" The next day I could not bear my own thoughts, the revul- 
sion was too sudden, too full of turbulent, fierce, torturing emo- 
tions ; I fled for a short relief to the house to which Madeline's 
father had invited me. But in vain I sought, by wine, by con- 
verse, by human voices, human kindness, to fly the ghost that had 
been raised from the grave of time. I soon returned to my own 
thoughts. I resolved to wrap myself once more in the solitude ol 
my heart. But let me not repeat what I have said before, some- 
what prematurely, in my narrative. I resolved — I struggled in 
vain : Fate had ordained that the sweet life of Madeline Lester 
should wither beneath the poison tree of mine. Houseman sought 
me again ; and now came on the humbling part of crime, its low 
calculations, its poor defence, its paltry trickery, its mean hypo- 
crisy ! They made my chiefest penance ! I was to evade, to beguile, 
to buy into silence, this rude and despised ruffian. No matter now 
to repeat how this task was fulfilled : I surrendered nearly my all 
on the condition of his leaving England for ever : not till I thought 
that condition already fulfilled, till the day had passed on which 
he should have left England, did I consent to allow Madeline's fate 
to be irrevocably woven with mine. 

" How often, when the soul sins, are her loftiest feelings 
punished through her lowest ! To me, lone, rapt, for ever on the 
wing to unearthly speculation, galling and humbling was it, in- 
deed, to be suddenly called from the eminence of thought, to barter, 
in pounds and pence, for life, and with one like Hoiiseman ! These 
are the curses that deepen the tragedy of life, by grinding down 
our pride. But I wander back to what I have before said. I waa 
to marry Madeline,- — I was once more poor, but want did not rise 
before me ; 1 had succeeded in obtaining the promise of a com- 
petence from one whom you know. For that which I had once 
sought to force from my kind, I asked now, not with the spirit oi 
the beggar, but of the just claimant, and in that spirit it was 
granted. And now I was really happy ; HousemanI believed removed 
for ever from my path ! Madeline was about to be mine : I surren- 
dered myself to love, and, blind and deluded, I wandered on, and 
awoke on the brink of that precipice into which I am about tc 
plunge. You know the rest But ob > what now was my horror , 



EUGEItE AEAM. 2SS 

It had not been a mere worthless, isolated unit in creation that I 
had seen blotted out of the sum of life. The murder done in my 
presence, and of which law would deem mo the accomplice, had 
been done upon the brother of him whose child was my betrothed ! 
Mysterious avenger — relentless Fate ! How, when l deemed myself 
the farthest from her, had I been sinking into her grasp ! How 
incalculable — how measureless — how viewless tho consequences of 
one crime, even when we think we have weighed them all with 
scales that would have turned with a hair's weight ! Hear me — as 
the voice of a man who is on the brink of a world, the awful nature 
of which reason cannot pierce — hear me ! when your heart tempts 
to some wandering from the line allotted to the rest of men, and 
whispers, : This may be crime in others, but is not so in thee ; or, 
it is Dut one misdeed, it shall entail no other,' — tremble ; cling 
fast, fast to the path you are lured to leave. Remember me ! 

" I»iv; in this state of mind I was yet forced to play the hypocrite. 
Had I been alone in the world — had Madeline and Lester not been 
to me what they were, I might have disproved the charge of fellow- 
ship in murder — I might have wrung from the pale lips of House- 
man the actual truth — but though I might clear myself as the 
murderer, I must condemn myself as the robber — and in avowal of 
that lesser guilt, though I might have lessened the abhorrence of 
others, I should have inflicted a blow, worse than that of my death 
itself, on the hearts of those who deemed me sinless as themselves. 
Their eyes were on me; their lives were set on my complete 
acquittal, less even of life than honour ; my struggle against truth 
was less for myself than them. My_ defence fulfilled its end : 
Madeline died without distrusting the innocence of him she loved. 
Lester, unless you betray me, will die in the same belief.^ In truth, 
since the arts of hypocrisy have been commenced, the pride of con- 
sistency would have made it sweet to me to leave the world in a 
like error, or at least in doubt. For you I conquer that desire, the 
proud man's last frailty. And now my tale is done. _ From what 
passes at this instant within my heart, I lift not the veil ! Whether 
beneath be despair or hope, or fiery emotions, or one settled and 
ominous calm, matters not. My last hours shall not belie my life ; 
on the verge of death I will not play the dastard, and tremble at 
the Dim Unknown. Perhaps I am not without hope that the Great 
and Unseen Spirit, whose emanation within me I nave nursed and 
worshipped, though erringly and in vain, may see in his fallen crea- 
ture one bewildered by his reason rather than yielding to his vices 
The guide I received from heaven betrayed me, and I was lost -, 
but I have not plunged wittingly from crime to crime. Against 
one guilty deed, some good, and much suffering, may be set ; and 
dim and afar off from my allotted bourn, I may behold in her 
glorious home the face of her who taught me to love, and who, 
even there, could scarce be blessed without shedding the light of 
her divine forgiveness upon me. Enough ! ere you break this seal, 
my doom rests not with man nor earth. The burning desires I have 
known — the resplendent visions I have nursed — the sublime 
aspirings that have lifted me so often from sense and clay, — these 



£S4 -EUGENE AJiAM. 

tell me, that, whether for good or ill, I am the thing of an Immor- 
tality, and the creature of a God ! As men of the old wisdom drew 
their garments around their face, and sat down collectedly to die, 
I wrap myself in the settled resignation of a soul firm to the last, 
and taking not from man's vengeance even the method of its dis- 
missal. The courses of my life I swayed with my own hand; 
from my own hand shall come the manner and moment of my death. ! 

"Eugene A -ram 

"August, 1/59." 

On the day after that evening in which Aram had given the 
above confession to Walter Lester — on the day of execution, when 
they entered the condemned cell, they found the prisoner lying on 
the bed ; and when they approached to take off the irons, they 
found that he neither stirred nor answered to their call. They 
attempted to raise him, and he then uttered some words in a faint 
voice. They perceived that he was covered with blood. He had 
opened his veins in two places in the arm with a sharp instrument 
which he had contrived to conceal. A surgeon was instantly sent 
for, and by the customary applications the prisoner in some measure 
was brought to himself. Resolved not to defraud the law of its 
victim, they bore him, though he appeared unconscious of all 
around, to the fatal spot. But when he arrived at that dread 
place, his sense suddenly seemed to return. He looked hastily 
round the throng that swayed and murmured below, and a faint 
flush rose to his cheek : he east his eyes impatiently above, and 
breathed hard and convulsively. The dire preparations were 
made, completed ; but the prisoner drew back for an instant, — was 
it from mortal fear ? He motioned to the clergyman to approach, 
as if about to whisper some last request in his ear. The clergyman 
bowed his head, — there was a minute's awful pause— Aram seemed 
to struggle as for words, when, suddenly throwing himself back, a 
bright triumphant smile flashed over his whole face. With that 
smile the haughty spirit passed away, and the law's last indignity 
was wreaked upon a breathless corpse ! 



EUGENE ARAM. 8M 



CHAPTER VIII. 

AND LAST. 

THE TRAVELLER'S RETURN.— THE COUNTRY VILLAGE ONCE MORE 
VISITED. — ITS INHABITANTS. — THE REMEMBERED BROOK. — THE 
DESERTED MANOR-HOUSE.— THE CHURCHYARD.— THE TRAVELLER 
RESUMES HIS JOURNEY.— THE COUNTRY TOWN.— A MEETING OF 
TWO LOVERS AFTER LONG ABSENCE AND MUCH SORROW. — CON- 
CLUSION. 



The lopped tree in time may grow again, 
Most naked plants renew both fruit and flower ; 
The sorriest wight may find release from pain. 
The driest soil suck in some moistening shower . 
Time goes by turns, and chances change by course 
From foul to fair. — Robert Southwell. 



Sometimes, towards the end of a gloomy day, the sun, before but 
dimly visible, breaks suddenly out, and where before you had 
noticed only the sterner outline of the mountains, you turn with 
relief to the lowlier features of the vale. So in this record of crime 
and sorrow, the ray that breaks forth at the close, brings into 
gentle light the shapes which the earlier darkness had obscured. 

It was some years after the date of the last event we have 
recorded, and it was a fine warm noon in the happy month of May, 
when a horseman rode slowly through the long, straggling village 
of Grassdale. He was a man, though in the prime of youth, (for he 
might yet want some two years of thirty), who bore the steady and 
tamest air of one who has wrestled the world ; his eye keen but 
tranquil ; his sunburnt though handsome features, which thought, 
or care, had despoiled of the roundness of their early contour, 
leaving the cheeK somewhat sunken, and the lines somewhat 
marked, were characterised by a grave, and at that moment by a 
melancholy and soft expression ; and now, as his horse proceeded 
slowly through the green lane, which at every vista gave glimpses 
of rich verdant valleys, the sparkling river, or the orchard ripe 
with the fragrant blossoms of spring, his head drooped upon his 
breast, and the tears started to his eyes. The dress of the horse- 
man was of foreign fashion, and at that day, when the garb still 
denoted the calling, sufficiently military to show the profession he 
had belonged to. And well did the garb become the short dark 
moustache, the sinewy chest, and length of limb, of the young 
horseman : recommendations, the two latter, not despised 'in the 



296 JiiraENE ARAM. 

court of the great Frederic of Prussia, in whose service lie had 
borne arms. He had commenced his career in that battle ter- 
minating in the signal defeat of the bold Daun, when the fortunes 
of that gallant general paled at last before the star of the greatest 
of modern kings. The peace of 1763 had left Prussia in the quiet 
enjoyment of the glory she had obtained, and the young English- 
man took the advantage it afforded him of seeing, as a traveller, 
not despoiler, the rest of Europe. 

The adventure and the excitement of travel pleased, and left 
him even now uncertain whether or not his present return to 
England would be for long. He had not been a week returned, 
and to this part of his native country he had hastened at once. 

He checked his horse as he now passed the memorable sign that 
yet swung before the door of Peter Dealtry ; and there, under the 
shade of the broad tree, now budding into all its tenderest verdure, 
a pedestrian wayfarer sat enjoying the rest and coolness of his 
shelter. Our horseman cast a look at the open door, across which, 
in the bustle of housewifery, female forms now and then glanced 
and vanished, and presently he saw Peter himself saunter forth 
to chat with the traveller beneath his tree. And Peter Dealtry 
was the same as ever, only he seemed perhaps shorter and thinner 
than of old, as if Time did not so much break as gradually wear 
away mine host's slender person. 

The horseman gazed for a moment, but observing Peter return 
the gaze, he turned aside his head, and, putting his horse into a 
canter, soon passed out of cognisance of the " Spotted Dog." 

He now came in sight of the neat white cottage of the old corpo- 
ral ; and there, leaning over the pale, a crutch under one arm, and 
his friendly pipe in one corner of his shrewd mouth, was the 
corporal himself. Perched upon the railing in a semi-dose, the 
ears down, the eyes closed, sat a large brown cat : poor Jacobina, it 
was not thyself ! death spares neither cat nor king ; but thy vir- 
tues lived in thy grandchild ; and thy grandchild (as age brings 
dotage) was loved even more than thee by the worthy corporal. 
Long may thy race nourish ! for at this day it is not extinct. 
Nature rarely inflicts barrenness on the feline tribe ; they are 
essentially made for love, and love's soft cares ; and a cat's lineage 
outlives the lineage of kaisars ! 

At the sound of hoofs, the corporal turned his head, and he looked 
long and wistfully at the horseman, as, relaxing his horse's pace 
into a walk, our traveller rode slowly on. 

" 'Fore George," muttered the corporal, "a fine man — a very fine 
man : 'bout my inches— augh ! " 

A smile, but a very faint smile, crossed the lip of the horseman, 
as he gazed on the figure of the stalwart corporal. 

" He eyes me hard," thought he ; " yet he does not seem to 
remember me. I must be greatly changed. 'Tis fortunate, how- 
ever, that I am not recognised : fain, indeed, at this time, would I 
some and go unnoticed and alone." 

The horseman fell into a reverie, which was broken by the mur- 



EUGENE AEAM. 297 

mur of the sxinny rivulet, fretting over each little obstaole it met^ 
— the happy and spoiled child of Nature ! That murmur rang on. 
the horseman's ear like a voico from his boyhood ; how familiar 
was it, how dear ! No haunting 1 tono of music ever recalled so 
rushing a host of memories and associations, as that simple, rest- 
less, everlasting sound ! Everlasting ! — all had changed, — the 
trees had sprung up or decayed — some cottages around were ruins, 
^some new and unfamiliar ones supplied their place ; and, on 
the stranger himself — on all those whom the sound recalled to his 
heart — Time had been, indeed, at work ; but, with the same ex- 
ulting bound and happy voice, that little brook leaped along its 
wav. Age9 hence, may the course be as glad, and the murmur as 
full of mirth ! They are blessed things, those remote and un- 
changing streams ! — they till us with the same love as if they were 
living creatures ! — and in. a green corner of the world there is one, 
that, for my part, I never see without forgetting myself to tears — 
tears that I would not lose for a king's ransom ; tears that no other 
sight or sound could call from their source ; tears of what affection, 
what soft regret ; tears through the soft mists of which I behold 
w hat I have lost on earth and hope to regain in heaven ! 

The traveller, after a brief pause, continued his road ; and now 
he came full upon the old manor-house. The weeds were grown 
up in the garden, the mossed paling was broken in many places, 
the house itself was shut up, and the sun glanced on the deepsunk 
casements, without finding its way into the desolate interior. High 
above the old hospitable gate hung a board, announcing that the 
house was for sale, and referring the curious or the speculating to 
the attorney of the neighbouring town. The horseman sighed 
heavily, and muttered to himself ; then, turning up the road that 
led to the back entrance, he came into the courtyard, and, leading 
his horse into an empty stable, he proceeded on foot through the 
dismantled premises, pausing with every moment, and holding a 
sad and ever-changing commune with himself. An old woman, a 
stranger to him, was the sole inmate of the house ; and, imagining 
he came to buy, or, at least, examine, she conducted him through 
the house, pointing out its advantages, and lamenting its dilapi- 
dated state. Our traveller scarcely heard her ; but when he came 
to one room, which he would not enter till the last (it was the 
little parlour in which the once happy family had been wont to 
sit), he sank down in the chair that had been Lester's honoured 
seat, and, covering his face with his hands, did not move or 
look up for several moments. The old woman gazed at him with 
surprise. — "Perhaps, sir, you knew the family ? — they were greatly 
beloved." 

The traveller did not answer ; but when he rose, he muttered to 
himself, — " No ; the experiment is made in vain ! Never, never 
could I live here again — it must be so — the house of my forefathers 
must pass into a stranger's hands." "With this reflection he hur- 
ried from the house, and, re-entering the garden, turned through 
a little gate that swung half open on its shattered hinges, and led 



298 EUGENE ARAM. 

into the green and quiet sanctuaries of the dead. The same touch, 
ing character of deep and undisturbed repose that hallows the 
country churchyard, — and that one more than most, — yet brooded 
there, as when, years ago, it woke his young mind to reflection, 
then unmingled with regret. 

He passed over the rude mounds of earth that covered the de- 
ceased poor, and paused at a tomb of higher, though but of simple 
pretensions ; it was not yet discoloured by the dews and seasons, 
and the short inscription traced upon it was strikingly legible in 
comparison with those around : — 



Rowland Lester, 

Obiit 1760, set. 64. 

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall 
be comforted. 



By that tomb the traveller remained in undisturbed contempla- 
tion for some time ; and when he turned, all the swarthy colour 
had died from his cheek, his eyes were dim, and the wonted pride 
of a young man's step and a soldier's bearing was gone from his 
mien. 

As he looked up, his eye caught afar, embedded among the soft 
verdure of the spring, one lone and grey house, from whose chim- 
ney there _ arose no smoke — sad, inhospitable, dismantled as that 
beside which he now stood ; — as if the curse which had fallen on 
the inmates of either mansion still clung to either roof. One hasty 
glance only, the traveller gave to the solitary and distant abode,— 
and then started and quickened his pace. 

On _ re-entering the stables, the traveller found the corporal 
examining his horse from head to foot with great care and atten- 
tion. 

" Good hoofs, too, humph ! " quoth the corporal, as he released 
the front leg ; and, turning round, saw, with some little confusion, 
the owner of the steed he had been honouring with so minute a 
survey. " Oh — augh ! looking at the beastie, sir, lest it might have 
cast a shoe. Thought your honour might want some intelligent 
person to show you the premises, if so be you have come to buy ; no- 
thing but an old 'oman there ; dare say your honour does not like 
jld 'omen — augh ! " 

" The owner is not in these parts ?" said the horseman. 

" No, over seas, sir ; a fine young gentleman, but hasty ; and— 
and — but Lord bless me ! sure — no, it can't be — yes, now you turn 
— it is — it is my young master ! " So saying, the corporal, roused 
into affection, hobbled up to the wanderer, and seized and kissed 
his hand. " Ah, sir, we shall be glad indeed, to see you back 
after such doings. But all 's forgotten now and gone by — augh ! 
Poor Miss Ellinor, how happy she'll be to see your honour. Ah ! 
how she he changed surely ! " 



EtJGF.NE ARAM. 293 

" Changed ; ay, 1 make no doubt ! What ? does she look in weak 
health?" 

" Xo ; as to that, your honour, she be winsome enough still," 
quoth the corporal, smacking; his lips ; " I seed her the week afore 

last, when I went over to , for I suppose you knows as she 

lives there, all nlone like, in a small house, with a green rail afore 
it, and a brass knocker on the door, at top of the town, with a line 

view of the hills in front ? Well, sir, I seed her, and mighty 

handsome she looked, though a little thinner than she was ; but 
for all that she be greatly changed." 

"' How ! for the worse ? " 

' For the worse, indeed," answered the corporal, assuming an 
air of melancholy and grave significance ; " she be grown so 
religious, sir, think of that — augh— bother — whaugh ! " 

"Is that all?" said Walter, relieved, and with a slight smile. 
" And she lives alone ? " 

" Quite, poor young lady, as if she had made up her mind 
to be an old maid ; though I know as how she refused Squire 
Knyvett of the Grange; — waiting for your honour's return, 
mayhap !" 

" Lead out the horse, Bunting ; but stay, I am sorry to see you 
with a crutch ; what's the cause ? no accident, I trust ? ' 

" Merely rheumatics — will attack the youngest of us ; never 
been quite myself since I went a travelling with your honour — 
augh ! — without going to Lunnun arter all. But I shall be stronger 
next year, I dare to say ! " 

" I hope you will, Bunting. And Miss Lester lives alone, you 
say?" 

" Ay ; and for all she be so religious, the poor about do bless her 
very footsteps. She does a power of good ; she gave me half a 
guinea last Tuesday fortnight ; an excellent young lady, so sensible 

" Thank you ; I can tighten the girths ! — so ! — there, Bunting, — 
there's something for old companionship's sake." 

" Thank your honour ; you be too good, always was — baugh ! 
But I hopes your honour be a coming to live here now ; 'twill 
make things smile again ! " 

" No, Bunting, I fear not," said Walter, spurring through the 
gates of the yard. — " Good day." 

" Augh, then," cried the corporal, hobbling breathlessly after 
him, " if so be as I shan't see your honour agin, at which I am ex- 
tramely consarned, will your honour recollect your promise, touch- 
tng the 'tato ground ? The steward, Master Bailey, 'od rot him ! 
has clean forgot it — augh ! " 

" The same old man, Bunting, eh ? Well, make your mind easy ; 
it shall be done." 

" Lord bless your honour's good heart; thank ye ; and — and" 
laying his hand on the bridle — " your honour did say the bit cot 
should be rent-free? You see, your honour," quoth the corporal,. 
»rav/i:i^ up with a grave smile, " I may marry some day or other. 



300 EUGENE AEAM. 

and have a large family ; and the rent won't set so easy theu- 
augh ! " 

Let go the reign, Bunting — and consider your house rent-free." 

" And your honour — and ' 

But Walter was already in a brisk trot ; and the remaining 
petitions of the corporal died in empty air. 

" A good day's work, too," muttered Jacob, hobbling homeward. 
"What a green un 'tis, still! Never be a man of the world— 
augh ! " 

For two hours Walter did not relax the rapidity of his pace ; 
and when he did so at the descent of a steep hill, a small country 
town lay before him, the sun glittering on its single spire, ana 
lighting up the long, clean, centre street, with the good old-fashioned 
garden stretching behind each house, and detached cottages around, 
peeping forth here and there from the blossoms and verdure of the 
young May. _ He rode into the yard of the principal inn, and 
putting up his horse, inquired, in a tone that he persuaded himself 
was the tone of indifference, for Miss Lester's house. 

" John," said the landlady (landlord there was none), summon- 
ing a Little boy of about ten years old — " run on and show this 
gentleman the good lady's house: and — stay — his honour will 
excuse you a moment — just take up the nosegay you cut for her this 
morning : she loves flowers. Ah ! sir, an excellent young lady is 
Miss Lester," continued the hostess, as the boy ran back for the 
nosegay: " so charitable, so kind, so meek to all. Adversity, they 
say, softens some characters ; but she must always have been good. 
Well, God bless her ! and that every one must say. My boy John, 
sir, — he is not eleven yet, come next August — a 'cute boy, calls 
her the good lady : we now always call her so here. Come, John, 
that's right. You stay to dine here, sir ? Shall I put down a 
chicken ? " 

At the farther extremity of the town stood Miss Lester's dwelling. 
It was the house in which her father had spent his last days ; 
and there she had continued to reside, when left by his death to a 
small competence, which Walter, then abroad, had persuaded her 
(for her pride was of the right kind) to suffer him, though but 
slightly, to increase. It was a detached and small building, stand- 
ing a little from the road ; and Walter paused for some moments 
at the garden-gate, and gazed round him before he followed his 
young guide, who, tripping lightly up the gravel- walk to the door, 
rang the bell, and inquired if Miss Lester was within? 

Walter was left for s&me moments alone in a little parlour : he 
required those moments to recover himself from the past, that rushed 
sweepingly over him. And was it — yes, it was Ellinor that now 
stood before him ! — Changed she was, indeed ; the slight girl had 
budded into woman ; changed she was, indeed ; the bound had for 
ever left that step, once so elastic with hope ; the vivacity of the 
quick, dark eye was soft and quiet ; the rich colour had given place 
to a hue fainter, though not less lovely. But to repeat in verse 
what is poorly bodied forth in prose — 



KUGENE ABA.M. 301 

' And years had passed, anff thiis they met again. 
The wind had swept along the flower since then 
O'er her lair cheek a paler lustre spread, 
As if the white rose triumph'd o'er the red. 
No more she walked exulting on the air, 
Light though her step, there was a languor there. 
No more — her spirit bursting from its bound — 
She stood, like Hebe, scattering smiles around." 

" Ellinoi ! " said "Walter, mournfully, " thank God ! we meet at 
last." 

" That voice — that face — my cousin — my dear, dear Walter !" 

All reserve, all consciousness fled in the delight of that moment ; 
and Ellinor leaned her head upon his shoulder, and scarcely felt 
the kiss that he pressed upon her lips. 

" And so long absent ! " said Ellinor, reproachfully. 

" But did you not tell me that the blow that had fallen on our 
house had stricken from you all thoughts of love — had divided 
us tor ever ? And what, Ellinor, was England or home without 

y° u '•" 

" Ah ! " said Ellinor, recovering herself, and a deep paleness 
succeeding to the warm and delighted flush, that had been conjured 
to her check, " do not revive the past ; I have sought for years — 
lon^, solitary, desolate years — to escape from its dark recol- 
lections ! " 

" You speak wisely, dearest Ellinor ; let us assist each other in 
doing so. "We are alone in the world — let us unite our lots. 
Xever, through all I have seen and felt, — in the starry night- 
watch of camps — in the blaze of courts — by the sunny groves of 
Italy — in the deep forests of the Hartz — never have I forgotten 
you, my sweet and dear cousin. Your image has linked itself 
indissolubly with all I conceived of home and happiness, and a 
tranquil and peaceful future ; and now I return, and see you and 
:ind you changed, but oh, how lovely ! Ah, let us not part again ! 
A consoler, a guide, a soother, father, brother, husband, — all 
this my heart whispers I could be to you ! " 

Ellinor turned away her face, but her heart was very full. The 
solitary years that had passed, over her since they last met, rose 
up before her. The only living image that had mingled through 
those years with the dreams of the departed, was his who now 
knelt at her feet ; — her sole friend — her sole relative — her first — her 
last love ! Of all the world, he was the only one with whom she 
could recur to the past ; on whom she might repose her bruised, 
but still unconquerea affections. And waiter knew by that 
blush — that sigh — that tear, that he was remembered — that he was 
beloved — that nis cousin was his own at last ! 

"But before you end," said my friend, to whom I showed the 
above pages, originally concluding my tale with the last sen- 
tence, you must, — it is a comfortable and orthodox old fashion, — 
tell us a little about the fate of the other persons to whom you 
have introduced us : — the wretch Houseman i" 



fOli CGENE AUAltt, 

" Trie ; in the mysterious course of mortal affairs, the greater 
villain had _ escaped, the more generous fallen. But though. 
Houseman died without violence — died in his bed, as honest men 
die — we can scarcely believe that his life was not punishment 
enough. He lived m strict seclusion — the seclusion of poverty, 
and maintained himself by dressing flax. His life was several 
times attempted by the mob, tor he was an object of universal 
execration and horror ; and even ten years afterwards, when he 
died, his body was buried in secret at the dead of night — for the 
hatred of the world survived him ! " 

" And the corporal, did he marry in his old age ?" 

" History telleth of one Jacob Bunting, whose wife, several years 
younger than himself, played him certain sorry pranks with a 
rakish squire in the neigbourhood : the said Jacob knowing nothing 
thereof, but furnishing great oblectation unto his neighbours by 
boasting that he turned an excellent penny by selling poultry to 
his honour above market prices, — ' For Bessy, my girl, I'm a man 
of the world — augh ! ' " 

" Contented ! a suitable fate for the old dog. — But Peter 
Dealtry?" 

" Of Peter Dealtry know we nothing more, save that we have 
seen at Grassdale churchyard a small tombstone inscribed to his 
memory, with the following sacred posy thereto appended :— 

' We flourish, saith the holy text, 
One hour, and are cut down the next : 
I was like grass but yesterday, 
But Death has mowed me into hay.' " * 

" And his namesake, Sir Peter Grindlescrew Hales ?" 

""Went through a long life, honoured and respected, but met 
with domestic misfortunes in old age. His eldest son married a 
servant-maid, and his youngest daughter " 

" Eloped with the groom ? " 

" By no means ; with a young spendthrift — the very picture of 
what Sir Peter was in his youth. They were both struck out of 
their father's will, and Sir Peter died in the arms of his eight 
remaining children, seven of whom never forgave his memory for 
not being the eighth, viz. chief heir." 

"And his contemporary, John Courtland, the non-hypochon- 
driac ? " 

" Died of sudden suffocation, as he was crossing Hounslow 
Heath." 

"But Lord ?" 

m " Lived to a great age ; his last days, owing to growing infirmi- 
ties, were spent out of the world ; every one pitied him, — it was 
the happiest time of his life ! " 

" Dame Darkmans ?" 

" "Was found dead in her bed ; from over-fatigue, it was sup- 

Verbatim. 



EU0KX1'. Alu;,:. SOS 

posed, in making merry at the funeral of a young girl on the 
previous day." 

" Well !— 'hcra, — and bo Walter and his cousin were really 
married ! And did they never return to the old manor-house ? " 

" No ; the memory that is allied only to melancholy grows sweet 
with years, and hallows tho spot whioh it haunts ; not so the 
memory allied to dread, terror, and something too of shame. 
Walter sold the property with some pangs of natural regret , 
after his marriage with ELlmor, he returned abroad for some time, 
out finally settling in England, engaged in active life, and left to 
his posterity a name they still honour j and to his country, the 
memory of some sendees that will not lightly pass away. 

But one dread and gloomy remembrance never forsook his 
mind, and exercised the most powerful influence over the actions 
and motives of his life. In every emergency, in every temptation, 
there rose to his eyes the fate of him so gifted, so noble in muoh, 
so formed for greatness in all things, blasted by one crime — a crime, 
the offspring of bewildered reasonings — all the while speculating 
upon virtue. And that fate, revealing the darker secrets of our 
kind, in which the true science of morals is chiefly found, taught 
him the twofold lessson, — caution for himself, and charity for 
others. He knew henceforth that even the criminal is not all 
evil ; the angel within us is not easily expelled ; it survives sin, 
ay, and many sins, and leaves us sometimes in amaze and marvel 
at the good that lingers round the heart even of the hardiest 
offender. 

' ' And Ellinor clung with more than revived affection to one 
with whose lot she was now allied. Walter was her last tie upon 
earth, and in him she learned, day by day, more lavishly to 
treasure up her heart. Adversity and trial had ennobled the 
character of both ; and she who had so long seen in her cousin all 
she could love, beheld now in her husband all that she could 
venerate and admire. A certain religious fervour, in which, after 
the calamities of her family, she had indulged, continued with 
her to the last ; but (softened by human ties, and the reciproca- 
tion of earthly duties and affections), it was fortunately preserved 
either from the undue enthusiasm or the undue austerity into which 
it would otherwise, in all likelihood, have merged. What re- 
mained, however, uniting her most cheerful thoughts with some- 
thing serious, and the happiest moments of the present with the 
dim and solemn forecast of the future, elevated her nature, not 
depressed, and made itself visible rather in tender than in sombre 
hues. And it was sweet, when the thought of Madeline and her 
father came across her, to recur at once for consolation to that 
heaven in which she believed their tears were dried, and their 
past sorrows but a forgotten dream ! There is, indeed, a time of 
life when these reflections make our chief, though a melancholy, 
pleasure. As we grow older, and sometimes a hope, sometimes a 
friend, vanishes from our path, the thought of an immortality wih 
press itself forcibly upon us ! and there, hy little and little, as th« 



S04 EUGENE AEAM 

ant piles grain after grain, the garners of a future sustenance, we 
learn to carry our hopes, and harvest, as it were, our wishes. 

"Our cousins, then, were happy. Happy, for they loved one 
another entirely ; and on those who do so love, I sometimes think 
that, barring physical pain and extreme poverty, the ills of life 
fall with but idle malice. Yes, they were happy, in spite of the 
past and in defiance of the future." 

" I am satisfied, then," said my friend, — " and your tale is fairly 
done ! " 



And now, reader, farewell! If sometimes, as thou hast gone 
with me to this our parting spot, thou hast suffered thy companion 
to win the mastery over thine interest, to flash now on thy convic- 
tions, to touch now thy heart, to guide thy hope,to excite thy terror, 
to gain, it may be, to the sources of thy tears — then is there a tie 
between thee and me which cannot readily be broken ! And when 
thou hearest the malice that wrongs affect the candour which 
should judge, shall he not find in thy sympathies the defence, or 
in thy charity the indulgence, — of a friend ? 



THS EJTD. 



ADVERTISEMENT 



In the preface to this Novel it was stated that the origins 
intention of its Author was to compose, upon the facts of Arams 
gloomy history, a tragedy instead of a romance. It may now be 
not altogether without interest for the reader, if I submit to his 
indulgence the rough outline of the earlier scenes in the fragment 
of a drama, wluch, in all probability, will never be finished. So 
far as I have gone, the construction of the tragedy differs, in some 
rt-srvcts, materially from tbat of the tale, although the whole of 
what is now presented to the reader must be considered merely as 
a i ■■'.'py from the first hasty s;ktt< h of at tu.i ompleted design. 



A'ccexber. 1SSS 



EUGENE 4.RAM, 

a Cragrtg. 



ACT I. Scene I. 

Aram's Apartment — Books, Maps, and Scientific Instruments loattsred 
around. In everything else the appearance of the greatest poverty. 

1st Creditor (behind the scenes).— I must be paid. Three moons 
have flitted since 
You pledged your word to me. 

2nd Cred. And me ! 

3rd Cred. And me ! 

Aram (entering). Away, 1 tell ye ! Will ye rend my garb ? 
Away ! to-morrow. Gentle sirs, to-morrow. 

\st Cred. This is your constant word. 

2nd Cred. We'll wait no more. 

Aram. Ye'll wait no more ? Enough ! be seated, sirs, 
Pray ye, be seated. Well ! with searching eyes 
Ye do survey these walls ! Contain they aught — 
Nay, take your leisure — to annul your claims ? 
(Turning to 1st Cred.) See, sir, yon books— they're yours, if yott 

but tear 
That fragment of spoiled paper — be not backward, 
I give them with good will. This one is Greek ; 
A golden work — sweet sir — a golden work ; 
It teaches us to bear — what I have borne ! — 
And to forbear men's ills, as you have done. 

1 it Cred. You mock me. Well 

Aram. Mock! mock! Alas ! my friend, 

1 >o rags indulge in jesting ? Fie, sir, fie ! 

( Turning to 2nd Cred.) You will not wrong me so ? On your receipt 
Take this round orb ; it miniatures the world, — 
And in its study I forgot the world ! 
Take this, yon table ;— a poor scholar's fare 
Needs no such proud support : — yon bed, too ! (Sleep 
I* Night's h\s eel angel, leading fallen Mun 
Thro' yielding airs to Youth's lost paradise ; 
But Sleep ana 1 have quarrell'd) ; take it. sir! 

Hud ('red. (mnttrriittj to the others.) Come, we must leave him U» 
the law, or famine. 
You ". 1;:.- ;; 'J were cos'.!y ;i' a jrroat I 

x ; 



3G3 EUGESE ARAM, 

1st fjred. Well, henceforth I will grow more wise ! "lis said 
Learning is better than a house or lands. 
Let me be modest ! Learning shall go free ; * 
3ive m 3 security in house and lands. 

Zrd C'red. {lingering after the other two depart, offers a piece of 
money to Aram.) There, man; I came to menace yc'ci 
with law 
An* 4 gaol s. You're poorer than I thought you ! — there 

^j.r am [looking at the money). What ! and a beggar, too ! 'Tis 
mighty well. 
Good sir, 1 'm grateful — I will not refuse you : 
Tviil win back Plato from the crabbed hands 
■Of him who lends on all things. Thank you, sir ; 
Plato and I will thank you. 

Zrd Cred. Crazed, poor scholar ! 

I'll take my little one from school this day ! 

Scejs'E II. 

Aram. Rogues thrive in ease ; and fools grow rich with toil; 
Wealth's wanton eye on Wisdom coldly dwells, 
And turns to dote upon the green youth, Folly — 

life, vile life, with what soul-lavish love 

We cling to thee — when all thy charms are fled— 

Yea, the more foul thy withering aspect grows, 

The steadier burns our passion to possess thee. 

To die : ay, there's the cure — the plashing stream 

That girds these walls — the drug of the dank weeds 

That rot the air below ; these hoard the balm 

For broken, pining, and indignant hearts. 

But the witch Hope forbids me to be wise ; 

And, when I turn to these, Woe's only friends— [.Pointing to his 

books.] 
And with their weird and eloquent voices, soothe 
The lulled Babel of the world within, 

1 can but dream that my vex'd years at last 
Shall find the quiet of a hermit's cell, 

And far from men's rude malice or low scorn, 

Beneath the loved gaze of the lambent stars ; 

And with the hollow rocks, and sparry caves. 

And mystic waves, and music-murmuring winds — 

My oracles and co-mates — watch my life 

Glide down the stream of knowledge, and behoKi 

Its waters with a musing stillness glass 

The smiles of Mature and the eyes of Heaven ! 

Scexe III. 

Enter BOTELEK, slowly ivatching him; as he remains silent and m 
thought, Botelee touches him on the shoulder. 

Boteler How now ! what ! gloomy ? and the day so bright ! 
Why, the old dog that guards the court below 



a ::u'jr,DY. 309 

Hath crept from out his wooden den, and shakes 
I Lis prey hide in the fresh and merry air ; 
Tuning his sullen and suspicious bark 
1 nto a whine of welcome as I pass'd. 
Come, rouse thee, Aram ; let us forth. 

Aram. Nay, friend, 

My spirit lackeys not the moody skies, 
Nor chances— bright or darkling; — with their change. 
Farewell, good neighbour ; I must work this day ; — 
Behold my tools — and scholars toil alone ! 

Boteler. Tush ! a few minutes wasted upon me 
May will be spared from this long summer day. 
Hast heard the news ? Monson ? — thou know'st the man ? 

Aram. I do remember. He was poor. I knew him. 

Bateler. But he is poor no more. The all-changing wheel 
Iloll'd round, and scatter'd riches on his hearth. 
A distant kinsman, while he lived, a niggard, 
Generous in death hath left his grateful heir 
In our good neighbour. Why, you seem not glad ; 
Does it not please you? 

Aram. Yes. 

Boteler. And so it should ; 

'Tis a poor fool, hut honest. Had Dame Fate 
Done this for you — for me : — 'tis true our brains 
Had taught us better how to spend the dross ; 
But earth hath worse men than our neighbour. 

Aram. Ay, 

" Worse men ! " it may be so ! 

Boteler. Would I were rich ! 

What loyal service, what complacent friendship, 
What gracious love upon the lips of Beauty, 
Bloom into life beneath the beams of gold. 
v enus and Bacchus, the bright Care-dispr^ers. 
Are never seen but in the train of Fortuiu. 
Would I were rich ! 

Aram. Shame on thy low ambitO ! 

Would /were rich too ; — but for other aims. 
< >h ! what a glorious and time-hallow'd world 
Would I invoke around me : and wall in 
A haunted solitude with those bright souls, 
That, with a still and warninsr aspect, gaze 
Upon ns from the hallowing shroud of books ! 
By Heaven, there should not be a seer who left 
f he world one doctrine, but I'd task his lore, 
And commune with his spirit ! All the truths 
Of all the tongues of earth — I'd have them all, 
Had I the golden spell to raise their ghosts ! 
I'd build me domes, too ; from whose giddy height 
My soul would watch the night stars, and unsphere 
The destinies of man, or track the ways 
Of God from world to world ; pursue the winds. 



S10 EUGENE A.RA.M, 

The clouds that womb the thunder — to their home ; 

Invoke and conquer Nature — share her throne 

On earth, and ocean, and the chainless air ; 

And on the Titan fabrics of old truths 

Raise the bold spirit to a height with heaven ! 

Would — would my life might boast one year of wealth, 

Though death should bound it ! 

Boteler. Thou mayst have thy wish ! 

Aram, {rapt and abstractedly). Who spoke ? Methought I heard 
my genius say — 
My evil genius—" Thou mayst have thy wish ! " 

Boteler. Thou heardst aright ! Monson this eve will pass 
By Md's swift wave ; he bears his gold with him ; 
The spot is lone — untenanted — remote ; 
And, if thou hast but courage, — one bold deed, 
And one short moment — thou art poor no more ! 

Aram {after a pause, turning his eyes slowly on Boteler) . Boteler, 
was that thy voice ? 

How couldst thou doubt it ? 

Aram. Methought its tone seem'd changed ; and now mefchinks, 
Now, that 1 look upon thy face, my eyes 
Discover not its old familiar aspert. 
Thou'rt very sure thy name is Boteler ? 

Boteler. Pshaw, 

Thou'rt dreaming still : — awake, and let thy mr d 
Ana heart drink all I breathe into thy ear. 
I know thee, Aram, for a man humane, 
Gentle and musing ; but withal of stuff 
That might have made a warrior ; and desires, 
Though of a subtler nature than my own, 
As high, and hard to limit. Care and want 
Have made thee what they made thy friend long since. 
And when I wound my heart to a resolve, 
Dangerous, but fraught with profit, I did fix 
On thee as one whom Fate and Nature made 
A worthy partner in the nameless deed. 

Aram. Go on. I pray thee pause not. 

Boteler. _ There remain 

Few words to body forth my full design. 
Xnow that — at my advice — this eve the gull'd 
And credulous fool of Fortune quits his home. 
Say but one word, and thou shalt share with me 
The gold he bears about him. 

Aram. At what price ? 

Boteler. A little courage. 

Aram. And my soul ! — 'No mom 

I see your project 

Boteler. And embrace it ? 

Aram. Lo ! 

How many deathful, dread, and ghastly snares 
EpflomTiaes him -whom the stark hunger gnawa, 



A TKAQEDT. 

And the grim demon Penury shuts from out 

The golden Eden of his bright desires ! _ 

To-day, I thought to slay myself, and die, 

Xo single hope once won ! — and now I hear 

Dark words of blood, and quail not, nor recoil. — 

'Tis but a death in either case ; — or mine 

< >r that poor dotard's !— And the guilt — the guilt, — 

"Why, tcftat is c-uilt ? — A word ! We are the tools, 

From birth to death, of Destiny : and shaped, 

For sin or virtue, by the iron force 

Of the r.nseen.but unresisted, hands 

Of Fate, the august compeller of the world. 

JBoteler (aside). It works. Behold the devil at all hearts ! 
I am a soldier, and inured to blood ; 
But he hath lived with moralists forsooth. 
And yet one word to tempt him, and one sting 
Of the food-craving clay, and the meek sage 
Gra-ps at the crime he shuddered at before. 

A ram {abruptly) . Thou hast broke thy fast this morning ? 

Boteler Ay, in truth. 

Aram. But 7" have not since yestermorn, and ask'd 
In the belief that certain thoughts unwont 
To blacken the still mirror of my mind 
Might be the phantoms of the sickening flesh 
And the faint nature. I was wrong; since you 
Share the same thoughts, nor suffer the same ills. 

Boteler. Indeed, I knew not this. Come to my roof: 
'Tis poor, but not so bare as to deny 
A soldier's viands to a scholar's wants. 
Onie, and we'll talk this over. I perceive 
That tout bold heart already is prepared, 
Ynd the details alone remain. — Come, friend, 
Lean np..n me, for you seem weak ; the air 
Will breathe this languor into health. 

Aram. Your hearth 

Is widow'd, — we shall be alone ? 

B'ltth-r. Alone. 

A r<vn . Come, then ; — the private way. We'll shun the crowd : 
I do not love the insolent eyes of men. 



Scene. 

(Sight — a wild and gloontff Forest — the River at a distance.) 

Enter AeaM slowly. 

Aram. Were it but done, methinks 'twould scarce bequeath 
Much food for that dull hypocrite Remorse. 
'Tis a fool less on earth !— a clod — a grain 
From the o'er-ri< h creation ; — be it 80. 
'; .t I, in fT.e hri'-f year, could give to noon 
Ml re solid, glorious, undecaying good 



SI 2 EUGENE AK.A&, 

Than his whole life could purchase : — yet without 
The pitiful and niggard dross he wastes, 
And I for lacking starve, my power is naught, 
And the whole good undone ! Where, then, the crime* 
Though by dread means to compass that bright end i 
And yet— and yet— I falter, and my flesh 
Creeps, and the horror of a ghastly thought 
Makes stiff my hair, — my blood is cold, — my knees 
Do smite each, other, — and throughout my frame 
Stern manhood melts away. Blow forth, sweet air, 
Brace the mute nerves, — release the gathering ice 
That curdles up my veins, — call forth the soul. 
That, with a steady and unfailing front, 
Hath look'd on want, and woe, and early death — 
And walk'd with thee, sweet air, upon thy course 
Away from earth through the rejoicing heaven I 
Who moves there ? Speak ! — who art thou 1 

Scene V 
Enter Boteler. 

Boteler. Murdoch Botele. 

Hast thou forestall'd me ? Come, this bodeth well : 
It proves thy courage, Aram. 

Aram. Rather say 

The restless fever that doth spur us on 
From a dark thought unto a darker deed. 

Boteler. He should have come ere this. 

Aram. I pray thee, Botek*| 

Is it not told of some great painter — whom 
Borne bore, and earth yet worships — that he slew 
A man — a brother man — and without ire, 
But with cool heart and hand, that he might fix 
His gaze upon the wretch's dying pangs ; 
And by them learn what mortal throes to paint 
On the wrung features of a suffering God ? 

Boteler. Ay : I have heard the tale. 

Aram. And he is honour's 

Men vaunt his glory, but forget his guilt. 
They see the triumph ; nor, with wolfish tongues, 
Feed on the deed from which the triumph grew. 
Is it not so ? 

Boteler. Thou triflest : this is no hour 
For the light legends of a gossip's lore 

Aram. Peace, man ! I did but question of the fact. 
Enough. — I marvel why our victim lingers ? 

Boteler. Hush ! dost thou hear no footstep ? — Ha, he comas J 
I see him by yon pine-tree. Look, he smiles ; 
Smiles as he walks, and sings 

Aram. Alas ! poor fool ! 

So sport we all, while over us the pall 
Hangs, and Fate's viewless hands prepare our shrcmL 



& TIUQEDT. 319 

Scene VI. 
Enter Monson. 

Monson. Ye have not waited, sirs ? 

Boteler Nav, nnrac it not. 

Monson. The nights are Ion? and bright an hour the leal 
Makes little discount from the time. 

Aram. An how.' 

What deeds an hour may witness ! 

Monson. It is true. 

(To Botekr). — Doth he upbraid ? — he has a gloomy brow : 
I like him not. 

Boteler. The husk hides goodly fruit. 
'Tis a deep scholar, Monson ; and the gloom 
Is not of malice, but of learned thought. 

Monson. Say'st thou ? — I love a scholar. Let us on : 
We will not travel far to-night 

Aram. Not far/ 

Botiltr. Why, as our limbs avail ; — thou hast the gold ? 

Motif ■>!. Ay, and my wife suspects not. [Laughing. 

Boteh-r. Come, that's well. 

I'm an old soldier, Monson, and I love 
This baffling of the Church's cankering ties. 
We'll find thee other wives, niy friend ! — Who holds 
The golden lure shall have no lack of loves. 

Monson. Ha ! ha ! — both wise and merry. {To Aram). — Cone, 
sir, on. 

Aram. I follow. 
(Aside] — Can men sin thus in a dream ? 

• ••«•• 

Scene. 
Scene cJuntet to a different part of the Forest — a cave, overhung with 
firs and other trees — the Moon at her full, bat Clouds are rolling 
ttciftly over her disc — Abam rushes from the Cavern. 

Aram. 'Tis done ! — 'tis done — 'tis done ! 

A life is gone 
Out of a crowded worid ! I struok no more ! 
Ub, God ! — I did not slay him ! — 'twas not I! 

(Enter BoTKLER more slowly from the Cave, and looking rosnd.) 

Boteler, Whv didst thou leave me ere our task was o'er ? 

Aram. Was he not dead, then ? Did he breathe again i 

Or cry, " Help, help !" 1 did not stike the blow ! 

Boteler. Dead ! — and no witness save the blinded bat ! 
But the gold, Aram ! thou didst leave the gold ? 

Aram. The gold ! I had forgot. Thou hast the gold. 
Come, let us share, and part 

Boteler. _ Not here ; the spot 

Is open, and the rolling moon may light 



314 EOGENE AUAM, 

Some wanderer's footsteps hither. To the deeps 
Which the stars pierce not — of the inmost wood— 
We will withdraw and share — and weave our plans, 
So that the world may know not of this deed. 

Aram. Thou sayest well ! I did not strike the blow ! 
How red the moon looks ! let us hide from her ! 



ACT II. 
( Time, Ten Tears after the date of the first Act.) 

Scene I. 

Peasants dancing— a beautiful Wood Scene — a Cottage in the front 

Madeline— Lambotten'—Michasl, 

(Lambottkn comes forward.) 

Come, my sweet Madeline, though our fate denies 
The pomp by which the great and wealthy mark 
The white days of their lot, at least thy sire 
Can light with joyous faces and glad hearts 
The annual morn which brought so fair a boon, 
And blest his rude hearth with a child like thee. 

Madeline. My father, my dear father, since that morn 
The sun hath call'd from out the depth of time 
The shapes of twenty summers : and no hour 
That did not own to Heaven thy love — thy care. 

Lambourn. Thou hast repaid me ; and mine eyes o'erfloii? 
With tears that tell thy virtues, my sweet child ; 
For ever from thy cradle thou wert fill'd 
With meek and gentle thought ; thy step was soft, 
And thy voice tender ; and within thine eyes, 
And on thy cloudless brow, lay deeply glass'd 
The quiet and the beauty of thy soul. 
As thou didst grow in years, the love and power 
Of nature waxed upon thee ; thou wouldst poro 
On the sweet stillness of the summer hills, 
Or the hush'd face of waters, as a book 
Where God had written beauty : and in turn 
Books grew to thee, as Nature's page had grown, 
And study and lone musing nursed thy youth. 
Yet wert thou ever woman in thy mood, 
And soft, though serious ; nor in abstract thought 
Lost household zeal, or the meek cares of love. 
Bless thee, my child. Thou look'st around for on© 
To chase the paler rose from that pure cheek, 
And the vague sadness from those loving eyes, 
Nay, turn not, Madeline, for I know, in trr.th, 
No man to whom I would so freely give 
Thy hand as his — no man so fril of wisdo 



a i:;.vi;i:iiY. 315 

And yet so eentlc in his bearing of it ; 

N<« in:in so kindly in his thoughts of others — 

So i aVid of all virtues in himself; 

As this same learned wonder, Eugene Aram. 

Mtulciiiic. In sooth his name sounds lovelier for thy pia'.tta ; 
Would he were by to hear it ! for methinka 
His nature given tun much to saddening thought, 
And words like thine would cheer it. Oft he starts 
Av.d mutters to himself, and folds his arms, 
Ami traces with keen eyes the empty air ; 
Then shakes his head, and smiles— no happy smile ! 

Lamtiiiurn. It is the way with students, for they liva 
Tn an ideal world, and people this 
'.Vit.h shadows thrown from fairy forms afar. 
Fear not ! — thy love, like some fair morn of May, 
Shall chase the dreams in clothing earth with beauty. 
Hut t : e noon wanes, and yet he does not come. 
Neighbours, has one amongst you seen this day 
The scholar Aram ? 

Mi< ha:!. By the hoary oak 

That overhangs the brook, I mark'd this morn 
A funding figure, motionless and lonely. 
I near'd it. but it heard — it saw me — not ; 
It spoke — I li.-ten'd — and it said, " Ye leaves 
Th;.t from the old and changeful branches fall 
Vpon the waters, and are borne away 
Whither none know, ye are men's worthless lives ; 
Nor boots it whether ye drop off by time, 
Or the rude anger of some violent wind 
Scatti r ye ere your hour. Amidst the mass 
Of your green life, who misses one lost leaf 1 " 
Hesaid no more ; then I did come beside 
The speaker : it was Aram. 

Madeline (nsiiJc). Moody ever ! 
At. 1 y- 1 he says, lie loves me and is happy ! 

Michael. But he scem'd gall'd and sore at my approach : 
And wl.i n I told him I was hither bound, 
And ask'd if aught I should convey from him, 
He irown'd, and coldlv turning on his heel, 
Answer'd — tl ;t "he should meet me." I was pain'd 
To think thut I had vex'd so good a man. 

l.-i Xfighbiiur. Ay, he is good as wise. All men love Aram. 

■2nd Xrighbour. And with what justice ! My old dame's com> 
plaint 
Had baffled all the leer lies ; hut his art, 
From a tew simple herbs distill'd a spirit 
Has made her young again. 

3rd Neighbour. By his advice, 

And foresight of the seasons, I did till 
My land, and now my granaries scarce can hold 
Their golden wealth ; while those who moclc'd his words 



316 EUGENE AltAMj 

Can scarcely from hard earth and treacherous air 
\Y 'in aught to keep the wolf from off their door. 

Michael. And while he stoops to what poor men should know 
They say that in the deep and secret lore 
That scholars mostly prize, he hath no peer. 
I >ld men, who pale and care-begone have lived 
A life amidst their hooks, will, at his name, 
Lift up their hands, and cry, " The wondrous man ! " 

Lambourn. His birthplace must thank Fortune for the fame 
That he one day will win it. 

Michael. Dost thou know 

"Whence Aram came, ere to these hamlet scenes 
Ten summers since he wander'd ? 

Lambourn. Michael, no ! 
'Twas from some distant nook of our fair isle, 
liut he so sadly flies from what hath chanced 
In his more youthful life, and there would seem 
So much of winter in those April days, 
That I have shunn'd vain question of the past. 
Thus much I learn : he hath no kin alive ; 
No parent to exult in such a son. 

Michael. Poor soul ! You spake of sadness. Know you why 
So good a man is sorrowful ? — 

Lambourn. Methinks 

He hath been tried — not lightly — by the sharp 
And everlasting curse to learning doom'd. 
That which poor labour bears without a sigh, 
But whose mere breath can wither genius — Want ! 
Want, the harsh, hoary beldame — the obscene 
Witch that hath power o'er brave men's thews and nerves, 
And lifts the mind from out itself. 

Michael. Why think you 

That he hath been thus cross'd ? His means appear 
Enough, at least for his subdued desires. 

Lambourn. I'll tell thee wherefore. Do but speak of want, 
And lo ! he winces, and his nether lip 
Quivers impatient, and he sighs, and frowns, 
And mutters — " Hunger is a fearful thing ; 
And it is terrible that man's high soul 
Should be made barren in its purest aims 
By the mere lack of the earth's yellow clay." 
Then will he pause — and pause — and come at last 
And put some petty moneys in my hand, 
And cry, " Go, feed the wretch ; he must not starve, 
( )r he will sin. Men's throats are scarcely safe 
While Hunger prowls beside them ! " 

Michael. The kind man ! 

Rut this comes only from a gentle heart, 
Not from a tried one. 

Lambourn. Nay, not wholly so; 

For I have heard him, as he turn'd away 



a. TUAGKDY 317 

Mutter, in stifled tones, "No man an tell 

"What want is in his brother man, unless 

Want's self hath taught him, — as the fiend taught me S " 

Michael. And hath he ne'er enlarged upon those wo:,*.;: 
Nor lit them into clearer knowledge by 
A more pronounced detail ? 

Lamboum. No ; nor have I 

Much sought to question. In my younger days 
T jmss'd much time amid the scholar race, 
The learned lamps which light the unpitying world 
]'•>• their own self-consuming. They are proud — 
A proud and jealous tribe — and proud men loatho 
To speak et' former sufferings: most of all 
"Want's suffering, in the which the bitterest stin? 
Is in the humiliation; therefore I 
< 'over the past with silence. But whate'er 
His uiL'in or early fate, there lives 
None whom I hold more dearly, or to whom 
My Lopes so well could trust my Madeline's lot. 

Scene II. 
The Crowd at Cup back of the Stage gives way — AEAM slowly enters— 
The yeighhours greet him with respect, several appear to thank him for 
various benefits or charities — Hereturns the greeting in dumb thow,with 
•jreat appearance of modesty. 

Aram. Nay, nay, good neighbours, ye do make mc blush 
To think that to so large a store of praise 

There goes so poor desert. My Madeline 1 — Sweet, 

I see thee, and air brightens ! 

Lunbourn. You are late — 

But n t less welcome. On my daughter's birthday 
You scarce should be the last to wish her joy. 

Aram. Joy — joy ! — Is life so poor and harsh a boon 
That we should hail each year that wears its gloss 
And glory into winter • Shall we crown 
With roses Time's bald temples, and rejoice — 
Fur what : — that we are hastening to the grave f 
No, no !— I cannot look on thy young brow, 
T.i-autiful Madeline ! nor, upon the day 
SYLieh makes thee one year nearer unto Heaven, 
1". (.1 sad tor Earth, whose very soul thou art ;-— 
' >r art, at least, to me !— for wert thou not, 
Earth would be dead and wither'd as the clay 
Of l.i r own offspring when the breath departs. 

Lamboum. I scarce had thought a scholar's dusty lomtm 
Could t- ach ln's lips the golden ways to woo. 
Uowheit, in all times, man never learns 
lo love, nor learns to Hatter. 

"Well, my friends, 
"Will ye within ? — our simple fare invites. 
Aram, when thou hast made thy peace with Madeline, 



318 EFGENE AKAM. 

We shall be glad to welcome thee. -(2b Michael.) This love 
Is a most rigid faster, and would come 
To a quick ending in an Epicure. 

[Exeunt Lahboubn, the Neighbours, && 

Scene III. 
Madeline and Aram. 

Aram. Alone with thee ! — Peace comes to eaitli again, 
Beloved ! would our life could, like a brook 
Watering a desert, glide unseen away, 
Murmuring our own heart's music, — which is love, 
And glassing only Heaven, — which is love's life I 
I am not made to live among mankind ! 
'.They stir dark memory from unwilling sleep, 

And but no matter. Madeline, it is strange 

That one like thee, for whom, methinks, fair Lovs 
Should wear its bravest and most gallant garb, 
Should e'er have cast her heart's rich freight upon 
A thing like me, — not fashion'd in the mould 
Which wins a maiden's eye, — austere of life, 
And grave and sad of bearing, — and so long 
Inured to solitude, as to have grown 
A man that hath the shape, but not the soul, 
Of the world's inmates. 

Madeline. 'Tis for that I loved. 

The world I love not — therefore I love thee ! 
Come, shall I tell thee, — 'tis an oft- told tale, 
Yet never wearies, — by what bright degrees 
Thy empire rose, till it o'erspread my soul, 
And made my all of being love ? Thou knowest 
When first thou earnest into these lone retreats, 
My years yet dwelt in childhood ; but my thoughts 
Went deeper than my playmates' Books I loved, 
But not the books that woo a woman's heart ; — 
I loved not tales of war and stern emprise, 
And man let loose on man — dark deeds, of which 
The name was glory, but the nature crime, — 
xTor themes of vulgar love — of maidens' hearts 
Won by small worth, set off by gaudy show ; — 
Those tales which win the wilder hearts, in me 
Did move some anger and a world of scorn. 
All that I dream'd of sympathy was given 
Unto the lords of Mind — the victor chiefs 
Of Wisdom — or of Wisdom's music — Song ; 
And as I read of them, I dream'd, and drew 
In my soul's colours, shapes my soul might love, 
And, loving, worship, — they were like to thee ! 
Thou earnest unknown and lonely, — and arounfi. 
Thy coming, and thy bearing, and thy mood 
Hung mystery ; — and in guessing at its clue, 
Mystery grew interest, &nd 'he interest love 3 



A TKAGKDT. 319 

Aram (aside). woman ! how from that which she should shun. 
Does the poor triller draw what oharms her most ! 

Madeline. Then, ns Time won thir frequent to our hearth. 
Thou from thy learning's height didst .stoop to teach me 
Nature's more gt ntle .secrets — the sweet lore 
Of the green herl> and the bec-worshipp'd flower; 
And when the night did o'er this nether earth 
Distil meek quiet, and the heart of Heaven 
With love grew breathless, thou wert wont to raise 
My wild thoughts to the weird and solemn stars ; 
Tell of each orb the courses and the name ; 
And of the winds, the clouds, th' invisible air, 
Make eloquent discourse ; until methought 
No human life, but some diviner spirit 
Alone could preach such truths of things divine. 
And so — and so 

Aram. From heaven we turn'd to earth, 

And Thought did father Tassion ? — Gentlest love ! 
If thou couldst know how hard it is for one 
Who takes such feeble pleasure in this earth, 
To worship aught earth-born, thou'dst learn how wild 
The wonder of my passion and thy power. 
hut ere three days are past thou wilt be mine ! 
And mine for ever ! Oh, delicious thought ! 
How glorious were the future, could 1 shut 
The past— the past— from — Ha! whatstirr'd? didst hear 
Madeline, — didst hear ■ 

Madeline. Hear what ! — the very air 

Lies quiet as an infant in its sleep. 

Aram (lookirsj round). Methought I heard 

Madeline. What, love ? 

Aram. It was a ctaftt 

Of these poor fools, the senses. Come, thy hand ; 

I love to feel thy touch, thou art so pure — 
So soft — so sacred in thy loveliness, 

That I feel safe with thee ! Great God himscll 
Wold shun to launch upon the brow of guilt 
His bolt while thou wert by ! 

Ma ilr fin e . Alas, alas ! 

■Vhy do.-t thou talk of guilt ? 

Aram. Did I, sweet love, 

.'lid I say guilt r — it is an ugly word. 
Why, swut, it deed — did I say guilt, mv Madeline ; 

Madeline. In truth you did. Your Land is dry — the puto 
'leats quick and fever'd : you consume too much 
< 'f life in thought — vou over-rack the nerves — 
A::d thus a shadow bids them quail and tremble ; 

II .t when 1 queen it, Kugenc, o'er your home, 
I'll see this fault amended. 

Aram. Ay, thou shalt, — 

II sou:!. tLuu shalt 



?2^ E0OENE AMa. 

Scene IV- 

Enter MICHAEL. 

Michael. Friend Lambourn sends his greeting', 
And prays you to his simple banquet. 

Madeline Come ! 

His raciest wine will in my father's cup 
Seem dim till you can pledge him. Eugene, come 

Aram. And if I linger o'er the draught, sweet love, 
Thou'lt know I do but linger o'er the wish 
For thee, which sheds its blessing on the bowl. 

****** 

****** 
Scene. 

Sunset — a Wood scene — a Cottage at a distance — in the forcgrootiUs 

Woodman felling wood. 

Enter Abam. 

Wise men have praised the peasant's thoughtless lot. 
And learned pride hath envied humble toil : 
If they were right, why, let us burn our books, 
And sit us down, and play the fool with Time, 
Mocking the prophet "Wisdom's grave decrees, 
And walling this trite peesent with dark clouds, 
Till night becomes our nature, and the ray 
Ev'n of the stars but meteors that withdraw 
The wandering spirit from the sluggish rest 
Which makes its proper bliss. I will accost 
This denizen of toil, who, with hard hands, 
Prolongs from day to day unthinking life, 
And ask if he be happy. — Friend, good eve. 

Woodman. 'Tis the great scholar ! — -Worthy sir, good ove. 

Aram. Thou seem'st o'erworn : through this longsumuici day 
Hast thou been labouring in the lonely glen ? 

Woodman. Ay, save one hour at noon. 'Tis weary work ; 
But men like me, good sir, must not repine 
At work which feeds the craving mouths at home. 

Aram. Then thou art happy, friend, and with conk;/. 
Thy life hath made a compact. Is it so ? 

Woodman. Why, as to that, sir, I must surely ft-t.-l 
Some pangs when I behold the ease with which 
The wealthy live ; while I, through heat and cold, 
Can scarcely eonquer famine. 



*** In this scere Eoteler (the Hourcman of the noveV is asiUa introduced. 



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